As part of the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several rules, published guidelines and created tools to help companies understand and comply with the updated regulations. The Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) is a fee-based program designed to help streamline the importation process for those who qualify.
Eligibility of Companies:
Importers must maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chain by implementing a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) (see below). They must also:
• Ensure that supplier verification and other applicable importer responsibilities, as outlined in the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), juice HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), or seafood HACCP regulations, are met
• Hold a current third-party certification, issued by an FDA-accredited certification body, for each foreign food supplier, or, for raw produce, for each farm
• Have a minimum three-year history of importing to the US
• Be subject to no ongoing judicial or administrative actions by the FDA, or any history of non-compliance within the supply chain
• A Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number