Food & Beverages | Foreign Supplier Verification Program

Enforcement Date Alert: The next compliance date is in March 2018. Importers should spend this time developing the programs as it takes time to work with Foreign Suppliers to build a robust FSVP program. On May 30, 2017 Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) went into effect for Food Importers not exempted by statute, FDA regulation or FDA's enforcement discretion implementation dates.

Under FSVP, food importers must verify the safety of the food they offer for importation.

Exceptions: Very small food importers and importers of food from very small foreign suppliers remain exempt from the FSVP enforcement date even after May 30, 2017. The requirement doesn't apply at all to firms that import food from foreign suppliers subject to seafood HACCP or juice HACCP, or -- with respect to microbiological hazards (only) -- to foreign low-acid canned food or acidified food manufacturers.

As of May 30, 2017, food importers are required to submit (usually through their customs brokers) the person designated as the "FSVP importer." Also, on this date, FDA began inspecting food importers to determine their level of compliance with the FSVP regulation. Under the FSVP provision, many food importers are required to establish a food safety program which identifies relevant safety hazards associated with imported food (the Hazard Analysis) and verify (with documentation) that foreign food suppliers are in compliance with the risk-based preventive control regulations (HARPC) or the new Standards for Produce Safety. Food importers also must verify that imported food is not adulterated and misbranded because it fails to disclose the presence of major food allergens.

What information should my customs broker need to file food entries now that this date has passed? In most cases, your customs broker might ask for the FSVP Importer's Name, Contact information, DUNS# and FDA registration number. The Customs Automated Commercial Enterprise (ACE) system will require this information (as indicated by the HTS code and/or FDA Product Code submitted through the system).

There could be several entities in any given food shipment who might serve as the FSVP Importer, therefore, FDA and Customs require the importer of record to supply the designated FSVP Importer at the time of entry. Being designated a FSVP Importer will put your company on the list for FDA inspection under the new rule. Applicability of the rule, however, is governed by the statutory and regulatory terms of implementation (not merely because you have been named the FSVP Importer).

Need Help Identifying who might be the FSVP Importer or what FSVP importer's can expect? There are many new food safety compliance and documentation requirements for food importers under FSVP. Learn more at