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SGS Informs on Food Imports - New Draft Guidance and Datelines for US FSMA Voluntary Qualified Importer Program.

Fairfield, NJ, July 23, 2015 --( Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (1)

The Food Safety Modernization Act Voluntary Qualified Importer Program is a voluntary for fee based program that will allow the expedited review imported foods into the U.S. This program will be for importers that maintain a high level of food safety control and security of the supply chains.

A qualified importer is one that develops a quality assurance program for high level control over food safety and security of the supply chain, compliance to supplier verification of Foreign Supplier Verification Program or existing HACCP programs, facilities certified under US FDA's accredited third party certification program or for raw produce a farm certification, a minimum of three year history importing into the U.S. without any issues of non-compliance, supplier and/or product non-compliance.

Datelines for the US FSMA Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

Applicants need to submit a yearly application, January 1st through May 31st, starting January 2018 to the US FDA. Benefits into the program will start October 1 following the acceptance into the program and go until September 30th of the following year. User fee is estimated as $16,400.

US FDA can revoke the participation into this program for not meeting any of the eligibility requirements. This revocation will apply to all foods being imported under the VQIP (2). US FDA will send a "notice of intent to revoke" and the importer has 30 days to make the corrections and respond to the US FDA with the corrections. Benefits will continue under the 30 days unless the US FDA believes there is a risk to public health.

Restatement into the program as revocation is possible providing all corrective actions have been taken, documented and submitted to the US FDA.


1 - US FDA, Fact Sheet on the Draft Guidance for Industry for FDA's Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (

2 - Federal Register, Draft Guidance for Industry on the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program for Food Importers and Guidelines in Consideration of the Burden of the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Fee Amounts on Small Business, Notice by the FDA (

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping readers informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging a global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support ( SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help clients reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality.

For further information please contact an SGS expert.


SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.

Contact Information:

SGS Consumer Testing Services

James Cook

+1 973 461 1493

Contact via Email

Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager

SGS North America, Inc.

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Date:Jul 23, 2015
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