Food

Guidance for Industry: FDA's Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

Contains Nonbinding Recommendations

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How to Comment

You may submit either electronic or written comments regarding this guidance at any time.

Submit Written Comments
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305),
Food and Drug Administration,
5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061,
Rockville, MD 20852

Submit Comments Online
Submit electronic comments on http://www.regulations.gov to docket folder FDA-2011-N-0144.

Questions?
For questions regarding this document contact Office of Enforcement and Import Operations (ELEM-3108), Office of Regulatory Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, at 301-796-0356.

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The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (Pub. L. 111-353) enables the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) to better protect public health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the food supply.

FSMA also 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 in accordance with FDA’s program for Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications (see FDA’s third-party certification regulations at 21 CFR part 1, subpart M), as well as other measures that support a high level of confidence in the safety and security of the food they import. 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.

This guidance document describes FDA’s policy regarding participation in FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) by importers of food for humans or animals. This document provides guidance on:

  • The benefits VQIP importers can expect to receive;
  • The eligibility criteria for VQIP participation;
  • Instructions for completing a VQIP application;
  • Conditions that may result in revocation of participation in VQIP; and
  • Criteria for VQIP reinstatement following revocation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This guidance represents the current thinking of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. To discuss an alternative approach, contact the FDA staff responsible for this guidance listed on the title page.

 

Page Last Updated: 11/29/2016
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