Animal Food Facility Registration and Qualified Facility Attestation: Frequently Asked Questions
Who must register under the food facility registration requirements?
If you are the owner, operator, or agent in charge of either a domestic or foreign facility that is engaged in manufacturing/processing, packing, or holding of food for human or animal consumption in the United States, you must register with FDA, unless you are exempt under 21 CFR 1.226 from the requirement to register. If you are an owner, operator, or agent in charge of a domestic facility, you must register your facility whether or not the food from the facility enters interstate commerce (21 CFR 1.225(b)). If you are the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a facility, you may authorize an individual to register your facility on your behalf (see 21 CFR 1.225(c) and 1.230(a)). A foreign facility’s U.S. agent may, but is not required to, register the facility (21 CFR 1.230).
If you have questions concerning whether you are required to register, visit Questions and Answers Regarding Food Facility Registration (Seventh Edition): Guidance for Industry.
What is the biennial food facility registration renewal period?
Every facility that is required to register with FDA as a food facility must renew their registration every 2 years. This is commonly referred to as the “biennial food facility registration renewal period.” The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) sets the biennial food facility registration renewal period as beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 of each even-numbered year. That means 2022 is a registration year.
A few things to keep in mind if you have registered, or updated your registration since the last biennial food facility registration renewal period:
- If you registered your food facility before October 1, 2022, you must renew your registration before December 31, 2022 and provide us with any updated information, if applicable.
- If you updated your food facility registration before October 1, 2022, you must renew your registration before December 31, 2022 and provide us with any updated information, if applicable.
- As a reminder, if you are the new owner of a registered food facility, the previous owner is required to cancel the food facility’s registration within 60 calendar days of the change of ownership and you must re-register the facility reflecting the new ownership (see 21 CFR 1.234 and 1.235).
Is there a fee associated with registering or renewing the registration for my animal food facility?
No. There is no fee associated with registration or renewal.
When is the biennial food facility registration renewal period?
The 2022 Biennial Registration Renewal Period begins October 1, 2022 and concludes on December 31, 2022.
I’m registering for the first time. What do I need before I register?
First, you need to create or have an existing Food Unified Registration Listing System (FURLS) account to access the module and submit your renewal. You must also have a unique facility identifier (UFI) to include with your registration information.
What is a unique facility identifier (UFI) and how do I get one?
A unique facility identifier is a way to assure that information associated with your facility, such as your address is accurate and to enhance the accuracy of FDA’s food facility registration database.
In accordance with 21 CFR 1.232(a)(2), since October 1, 2020, all facilities must include a unique facility identifier (UFI) recognized as acceptable by FDA with their registration information. To date, FDA recognizes the Data Universal Numbering System D-U-N-S (DUNS) number as an acceptable UFI. The FDA has used enforcement discretion communicated through a constituent update sent out on March 20, 2021 that extended the flexibility for the UFI requirement for food facility registration through December 2022. This update included a guidance for industry and addressed stakeholder concerns with obtaining a DUNS number in a timely manner. The Guidance for Industry document can be found here: Guidance for Industry: Enforcement Policy for Providing an Acceptable Unique Facility Identifier (UFI) for the 2020 Food Facility Registration Biennial Renewal Period.
DUNS numbers are assigned and managed by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Obtaining a DUNS number is available free of charge for the first four numbers and may take up to 45 days to get your DUNS number. Please visit the Import Safety Lookup Portal (dnb.com) in order to obtain or verify your DUNS number. You will be required to provide your UFI in “Section 2- Facility Name/Address Information” of your food facility registration.
How do I create or renew my registration?
The owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility, or a person authorized by one of them, can submit a facility's registration renewal electronically through the Registration of Food Facilities and Other Submissions page.
How can I submit a Waiver Request if it is not reasonable for me to submit the required email address information?
Under 21 CFR 1.232(a)(6), you must provide the email address of the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility unless FDA has granted a waiver from such requirement. In addition, under 21 CFR 1.230(b) and (c), 1.232(a)(10), 1.234(a), and 1.235(b)(5), registration renewals, abbreviated registration renewals, registrations, updates, and cancellations not submitted by the owner, operator, or agent in charge must include the email address for the individual who authorized the submission, unless FDA has granted a waiver under 21 CFR 1.245.
If you wish to submit a waiver from the email requirement -- The owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility or the U.S. agent for a foreign facility must submit a written request that explains why it is not reasonable for you to submit the required email address information.
The waiver request must be submitted in writing to the following address:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
5001 Campus Dr. (HFS-681)
College Park, MD 20740
The waiver request should include the facility’s name(s), address(es), and the name of the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility. In addition, if the waiver request is being submitted by a U.S. agent on behalf of a foreign facility, the request should include the name of the U.S. agent authorized by the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility to submit the waiver request.
My password to the food facility renewal system has expired. How do I reset my password?
For security purposes, password resets are required every 90 days and an automated email message to reset your password is sent from FDA’s FURLS database to your user account when a password reset is required. FDA does not recommend sharing accounts with multiple individuals; each user should have their own account to access the system.
You can reset your password when you click Login / Create Account on the Registration of Food Facilities and Other Submissions page. If you require additional assistance, please contact the FDA Industry Systems Help Desk at email@example.com, toll-free in the USA 1-800-216-7331 or 240-247-8804.
Does FDA issue Registration Certificates?
FDA does not honor or issue a certificate as proof of registration. FDA considers a copy of a valid registration to be proof of a registration.
Do I need a Food Facility Registration to have a Qualified Facility Attestation (QFA) status?
Yes. Your facility must have a valid food facility registration to submit their attestation. Facilities can submit their attestation forms electronically via the Qualified Facility Attestation Module at https://www.access.fda.gov/.
If I am a qualified facility, do I fill out a qualified facility attestation during my food facility registration renewal?
Yes. If you are a qualified facility, you also fill out and submit your qualified facility attestation during the food facility registration renewal period. You must fill out an attestation for all products that you manufacture that meet the definition of a qualified facility. For example, if you manufacture both human and animal food, you may not meet the definition of a qualified facility for human food but do meet the definition of a qualified facility for animal food. In this example, you would only submit an attestation for animal food.
I just submitted my qualified facility attestation; do I have to submit it again?
Yes. Your facility does need to resubmit a new attestation with your 2022 food facility registration renewal so that your attestation submission will happen at the same time as subsequent biennial food facility registrations.
So, if you have submitted a qualified facility attestation before October 1, 2022, you must re-submit your attestation before December 31, 2022 (21 CFR 507.7(c)(2)(ii)).
Once logged into FURLS, please re-submit your attestation electronically via the Qualified Facility Attestation Module. Please ensure renewal of your food facility registration before re-submitting your qualified facility attestation.
How do I determine if I’m a qualified facility?
A qualified facility is determined by your business size. A "qualified facility" is (when including the sales by any subsidiary; affiliate; or subsidiaries or affiliates, collectively, of any entity of which the facility is a subsidiary or affiliate) either:
- A "very small business," a business (including any subsidiaries and affiliates) averaging less than $2,500,000, adjusted for inflation, per year, during the 3-year period preceding the applicable calendar year in sales of animal food plus the market value of animal food manufactured, processed, packed, or held without sale (e.g., held for a fee), or
- A facility to which both of the following conditions apply: During the 3-year period preceding the applicable calendar year,
- (1) the average annual monetary value of the food manufactured, processed, packed or held at such facility that is sold directly to qualified end-users exceeded the average annual monetary value of the food sold by such facility to all other purchasers; and
- (2) the average annual monetary value of all food sold during the 3-year period preceding the applicable calendar year was less than $500,000, adjusted for inflation.
Additional information to assist you in determining if you are a qualified facility, including the inflation adjusted cut offs for all of the FSMA rules can be found on the Qualified Facility Attestation page.
What does it mean for me if I attest that I am a qualified facility?
Qualified facilities are exempt from implementing a food safety plan (i.e., the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls requirements in 21 CFR part 507, subpart C and E), and instead follow the modified requirements in 21 CFR 507.7.
Facilities that do not attest that they are a qualified facility do not meet the requirements for an exemption from having a food safety plan.
Where do I go to find more information?
Please visit Registration of Food Facilities and Other Submissions for more information about food facility registration and the 2022 biennial renewal period including guidance documents and user guides for our Food Facility Registration Module (FFRM).
Please visit Qualified Facility Attestation for more information about qualified facility attestations, including the FSMA Inflation Adjusted Cut Offs to help you determine that your facility meets the definition of a qualified facility.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the FDA Industry Systems Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org, toll-free in the USA 1-800-216-7331, or 240-247-8804 if you require additional assistance. When contacting the FDA by phone, please anticipate long hold times during the renewal period. Likewise, please anticipate a delay in the time it takes FDA to respond to e-mails due to the significant increase in call and email volume that FDA receives during the registration renewal period.