ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Import-related non-tariff measure, nes
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 4 June 2015 released draft guidance concerning a voluntary and fee-based program that is aimed at speeding up the review and approval process for qualified food importers. One objective of the program is to free up the agency's resources so as to be focused principally on higher-risk imports. According to the FDA, the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) would benefit industry and consumers by giving those importers with a proven food safety record a method of expedited entry for imported foods.
The program was originally authorized in 2011 by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (Public Law 111-353). The FSMA requires FDA to establish a voluntary, fee-based program for the expedited review and importation of foods from importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains. This control includes importation of food from facilities that have been certified under FDA's Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications regulations (FDA's third-party accreditation regulations), when finalized, as well as other measures that support a high level of confidence in the safety and security of the food they import. according to the FDA, expedited entry incentivizes importers to adopt a robust system of supply chain management and further benefits public health by allowing FDA to focus its resources on food entries that pose a higher risk to public health.
The proposal is now subject to a 75-day comment period.
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