Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals
- [Narrator] The Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule for importers of food for humans and animals requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable US food safety standards.
This rule does not apply to the exporters in other countries.
Our Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, FSVP, is a program that importers covered by the rule must have in place to verify that their foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as the preventive controls or produce safety regulations as appropriate, and to ensure that the supplier's food is not adulterated and is not misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.
The term importer is defined in the regulation.
The FSVP importer must be located in the United States and it could be a person who resides in the United States or maintains a place of business in the United States.
It would not be sufficient to merely have a mailbox, answering service, or some other place in the United States where the importer is not physically present.
The foreign supplier of a food is the establishment that manufactures or processes the food, raises the animal, or grows the food that is exported to the United States without further manufacturing or processing by another establishment, except for further manufacturing or processing that consist solely of the addition of labeling or any similar activity of a de minimis nature.
For example, if you import packaged dog food from a foreign distributor or broker who obtains the dog food in its final packaging from the manufacturer, the foreign supplier would be the manufacturer of the dog food.
Or if you obtained mangoes from a packing house that only packs and holds the fruit and does not perform manufacturing or processing on the mangoes of more than a de minimis nature, the foreign suppliers would be the farms that grew the mangoes.
There are exemptions to the FSVP regulation.
These are based on type of food, foods not covered by this rule, country of origin, countries with an officially recognized or equivalent food safety system, size of the importer or the supplier and other factors.
FDA has provided a flowchart that helps you determine whether or not you are subject to the FSVP rule.
If applicable, an importer must establish an FSVP for each food that is imported from each of its foreign suppliers.
The importer may request information from their foreign suppliers or others to meet the FSVP requirements.
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This program was developed by Food Safety CTS LLC for the USDA's Food Safety and Agricultural Sustainability Training Program and Penn State University.
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