Foreign Supplier Verification Program FAQ
What Is The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)?
FSVP is a program set in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This requires U.S. buyers to make sure they are importing from foreign producers that are manufacturing under the same standards as domestically made foods. It consists of various information retained by the U.S. importer such as hazard analysis of the producers, controls, monitors programs, and specific record keeping requirements.
What Is The FSVP Compliance Date For Importers Subject To The Produce Rule?
All Importers whose large foreign suppliers are required to be compliant with the Produce Rule will also be required to be compliant with FSVP on July 26th, 2018.
Who Is Subject To The Produce Rule?
Growers and Manufacturers of vegetables and fruits that are normally consumed raw and that are fresh or minimally processes, such as cut and washed, are subject to the produce rule, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and blueberries. This does not include frozen fruit or vegetables or items that need to undergo further processing (such as a process to minimize contamination or cooking). This would include squash, coffee beans, and navy beans.
What New Information Must I Include On My Invoices?
For your Customs Broker to clear your entry with the FDA, they will now need to know who the FSVP Importer is, the FSVP importer's DUNS number, and the FSVP importers IRS number. Without this information, the entry will be held.
Who Is The FSVP Importer?
The FSVP Importer must be a U.S. Company. When items have been sold this is usually the U.S. buyer of the goods. If there is not buyer, then it is the receiver of the goods in the U.S. If there is no final receiver, such as items going to a fulfillment facility, you can have a U.S. FSVP Agent indicated on the documents, who agrees to take on the responsibilities of the FSVP Importer.
How Does This Affect Foreign Suppliers?
Although the FSVP Importer is technically the U.S. company, there is a large amount of information that the FSVP Importer is required to have on file and verified regarding your manufacturing facility. These can range from lab results, your food safety plans, and other information. If you do not have these available, but they are a requirement for the U.S. company to buy your goods and bring them into the state, they may move on to purchasing from someone who has provided them the required information.
Also, as the foreign supplier, if you are the Importer of Record as well, you will need to make sure you speak with your buyers to confirm with them that they are aware of the FSVP rule, are working to be in accordance with it before July 26th, and that they have provided you their DUNS number and email address.
What Does The FDA Consider A Large Foreign Supplier?
FDA considered a large facility a facility that is neither a small or very small supplier. This would be a business (including any subsidiaries and affiliates) employing 500 full-time equivalent employees or more.
FDA also lists the definition of full-time equivalent as: "a term used to represent the number of employees of a business entity for the purpose of determining whether the business qualifies for the small business exemption. The number of full-time equivalent employees is determined by dividing the total number of hours of salary or wages paid directly to employees of the business entity and of all of its affiliates and subsidiaries by the number of hours of work in 1 year, 2,080 hours (i.e., 40 hours × 52 weeks). If the result is not a whole number, round down to the next lowest whole number."
Where Can I Ask More Questions Regarding The Foreign Supplier Verification Program?
You can call us anytime to find out more information on importing produce into the U.S. and all the subsequent regulations and governing authorities such as the FDA.
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