News & Press


Attention Food Importers

Attention food importers, are you in compliance with the FDA’s new Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP)? As a follow-up to our March 20, 2017 Newflash, FSVP became effective on May 30, 2017.

The FSVP program rule requires importers covered by this rule to perform certain risk-based activities to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced by foreign suppliers in a manner that meets applicable U.S. safety standards.

If you are unsure if you are subject to FSVP, please go to the following link for more information:   Am I Subject to FSVP Flowchart!

Under FSVP, an importer must:

  • Determine known or reasonably foreseeable hazards of each food.
  • Evaluate the risks posed by a food, based on the hazard analysis, and the foreign supplier’s performance.
  • Use the evaluation of the risk posed by an imported food and supplier’s performance to approve suppliers and determine appropriate supplier verification activities.
  • Conduct supplier verification activities.
  • Conduct corrective actions.

In most cases, the FSVP Importer is the U.S. owner or consignee of a food imported into the U.S.  If there is no U.S. owner or consignee, the FSVP Importer will need to be a U.S. agent or representative of the foreign owner of the imported food and be designated with the responsibility of ensuring the FSVP required activities are conducted for each imported food.  The FSVP agent must be designated in writing and must consent to be the agent.  Importers must advise their Customs broker who will serve as the FSVP for each shipment.

A Customs broker cannot be shown as the FSVP Importer as they do not meet the definition of a U.S. owner or purchaser with a financial interest in the imported food.

As of May 30, 2017:

If you are not subject to the FSVP requirements, your broker will transit one of the following Affirmation of Compliance codes: “FSX” which means the food is exempt from the FSVP regulations or not yet required; or “RNE” which means the food is exempt because it will be used for research or evaluation purposes and will not be sold or distributed to the public.  We must have a declaration in writing to use code “RNE”.  You will need to provide your broker, in writing, that you are not subject to these requirements.

If you are subject to the FSVP requirementsyou must provide your broker, in writing, the following information for each line entry of food product offered for importation into the United States:

  • Importer’s Name;
  • Email address;
  • DUNS number (The FDA now recognizes the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as an acceptable UFI under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program).

The FDA will temporarily allow the transmission of “UNK” (Unknown) in place of the DUNS number for the FSVP Importer that has been unable to obtain a DUNS number.  “UNK” should only be used if the nine-digit, site-specific DUNS number is not available at the time the entry is transmitted. An update will be issued when “UNK” will no longer be allowed.

For additional information please go to one of the following websites:

FSVP Dates of Compliance

FSVP Factsheet

If you have any questions, you may contact your regular account representative or [email protected].

We are a certified and validated member of Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.