Food importers: Are your foreign food facilities properly registered?

produceImporting food into the US from a foreign food facility?  Make sure that facility has a valid — and renewed — registration with the US Food & Drug Administration.  Otherwise, FDA may hold the imported food at the port, or even refuse import of that food.

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires foreign (and domestic) facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the US to register with FDA.  These facilities must renew their registrations with FDA, every other year, by December 31 of each even-numbered year.  If a facility failed to register or renew by December 31, 2014, FDA may issue a hold for any food to be imported into the US.

FDA’s advice, per CSMS #15-000002:

“FDA encourages import brokers who file prior notices for food shipments after January 1, 2015 take proactive action and contact clients with high-volume food shipments, inquire about the renewal status of foreign manufacturing facilities associated to their shipment, and confirm any new registration numbers. Prior notices after January 1, 2015 must have a valid facility registration number. Doing so could greatly mitigate any prior notice shipment delays related to invalid or canceled registration.”



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