December 23, 2020
On January 1, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) application portal for fiscal year (FY) 2022.
VQIP is a voluntary fee-based program that provides importers, who achieve and maintain control over the safety and security of their supply chains, the benefits of expedited review and importation of human and animal foods into the United States.
To participate in VQIP, food importers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including ensuring that the facilities of their foreign suppliers are certified through the FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program, part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Certification bodies conduct food safety audits of foreign facilities and farms, and issue the certifications that importers need to participate in VQIP.
If you are an importer interested in applying for VQIP benefits during FY2022, the portal will be open through May 31, 2021.
For more information:
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program
- Submission of VQIP Application User Guide
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) Informational Webinar Recording
- Public Registry of Accredited Third-Party Certification Bodies
Questions may be submitted to the VQIP Importers’ Help Desk via 1-301-796-8745 or via email to FSMAVQIP@fda.hhs.gov.
VQIP supports the FDA Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food by incentivizing importers to use certified suppliers and robust processes and procedures to help ensure imported food is meeting U.S. food safety requirements.