FDA / Necessity of and Updates to Food Product Categories
October 30, 2012
On October 22, 2012, The Food and Drug Administration open the re-registration period for food as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act . All facilities are encouraged to register online, However all facilities have the option to register by mail or by fax.
Under FSMA §102, all domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, pack or store food, food ingredients, pet foods or dietary supplements are required to renew their registration with the FDA before the end of 2012 and to re-register every two years thereafter. This represents a change from the registration requirement for food facilities originally established in 2002 under the Bioterrorism Act. According to the FDA, the FSMA improves the registration process by ensuring that the agency has accurate contact information for each facility and including on the form new categories of foods that will help the FDA rapidly communicate with the right facilities in the event of an emergency.
Those affected by the new registration requirements are reminded that FSMA also imposes new burdens and potential liabilities on entities designated as U.S. agents to foreign food facilities. One of these liabilities stems from FSMA §107 concerning re-inspection fees. It is believed that in 2013 the FDA will begin charging $289 per hour for the time it devotes to re-inspecting foreign food facilities, resulting in the potential for invoices to reach several thousands of dollars per re-inspection. The party the FDA will hold responsible for paying these invoices is the U.S. agent. Accordingly, brokers, forwarders and importers of record will likely want to find alternatives to becoming U.S. agents themselves and foreign food facilities will need to seek out entities to become U.S. agents.
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