Import Process - Summary of Public Comments
Summary of Public Comments
The Task Force received one submission from a trade association containing suggestions for improving transparency of the import process. The comment requested that ORA headquarters consider ways to provide FDA districts with guidance that results in more uniform processes and procedures, including developing a policy about how importers can correct data that has been submitted about products.
The comment also suggested a variety of ways to facilitate communication with the importer community, including (1) methods of allowing specific trade issues to be brought to the attention of ORA headquarters, (2) publishing contacts in each District with whom brokers who are not physically located at the port can communicate, and (3) providing the option to receive an email notification when new Import Alerts are issued or procedural updates to the Regulatory Procedures Manual are made.
The comment also made recommendations about how FDA can provide timely and useful responses to industry questions about imports, including establishing an email address for each District and committing to respond to phone or email contacts within 24 hours. It was noted that developing the ITACS system of notification and communications will help the agency provide timely responses to questions.
The comment also proposed ways in which FDA could better inform the importer community about regulatory requirements, including development of a web database system that provides basic requirements related to importing a specific commodity.
The comment also suggested that FDA review the existing procedures used to conduct evaluations of importers, or third parties working on behalf of importers, who file information electronically about products offered for import into the United States.