W.B. Skinner > News > New Food Safety Rules for Importers Issued by FDA

New Food Safety Rules for Importers Issued by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has issued three new Final Rules mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP), produce safety, and accredited third-party certification were released in pre-publication format on November 13, and will be published in the Federal Register on November 27.

The official publication date comes almost one month after the October 31 deadline established last year, but will be critical in calculating individual compliance dates for businesses covered by FSVP and produce safety rules.

FSVP will require importers to develop and implement programs to verify that their foreign suppliers produce food that meet public health and safety regulations. For purposes of this rule, an ‘importer’ is the U.S. owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the U.S., or the U.S. agent of the foreign owner at time of entry. (This definition of ‘importer’ differs from that used in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP).

Importers covered by the new FSVP rule will need to take actions to:

  • Determine known or reasonably foreseen hazards with each food brought into the U.S.
  • Evaluate the risk posed by a food, based on the hazard analysis and the foreign supplier’s performance (this means that the same food sourced from different foreign suppliers will need separate FSVPs).
  • Use that risk evaluation to approve foreign suppliers and to develop appropriate risk-based supplier verification activities.
  • Perform those supplier verification activities, which are flexible requirements that can include on-site audits of the supplier’s facility, sampling and testing, and/or a review of the supplier’s relevant food safety records (third-party analyses and activities may be used in certain circumstances.)
  • Implement corrective actions when necessary.

See more here.

At WB Skinner, we are encouraging our customers to become familiar with the new requirements.   and, as always, to contact us for help in ensuring they will be able to meet the compliance deadlines.


A seminar explaining the FSVP and its requirements for food importers will be held on December 16 by The New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association, led by Russell K. Statman, Executive Director of the Registrar Corporation.

Click here for more information and registration.