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  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

FDA Extends Application Period for Voluntary Qualified Importer Program to July 31

Constituent Update

May 16, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be extending the application period for importers to submit their notice of intent to participate and their completed application for the Fiscal Year 2020 benefits period of the  Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP). The application portal will remain open until July 31, 2019, after which it will close to allow time for the agency to review applications before the start of the annual benefits period that will begin on October 1, 2019.

VQIP is a voluntary fee-based program established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that provides expedited review and importation of human and animal foods into the United States for approved applicants who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.

To participate, importers must meet certain eligibility requirements, which include ensuring that the facilities of their foreign supplier are certified by a certification body that has been accredited through the FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program (TPP).

As of May 1, 2019, four third-party certification bodies have received accreditation. All certification bodies that are accredited under TPP will be listed on the public registry available on FDA.gov.  

The FDA is continuing its efforts to ensure that the application process for VQIP is as efficient as possible. If you are an importer interested in participating, below are some resources to help you through the process:

Importers can submit questions about the program to the VQIP Importer’s Help Desk via phone at 1-301-796-8745 or email at FSMAVQIP@fda.hhs.gov.

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