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  5. First Choice Importing Inc. - 642204 - 01/12/2023
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First Choice Importing Inc. MARCS-CMS 642204 —

Delivery Method:
Food & Beverages

Recipient Name
Nabil Antoun
Recipient Title
Owner & President
First Choice Importing Inc.

90 Cannonade Drive
Marlboro, NJ 07746
United States

Issuing Office:
Division of Northeast Imports

United States


Jan 12, 2023

Re: CMS # 642204

Dear Mr. Antoun:

From June 27 through August 18, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspection of First Choice Importing Inc., located at 90 Cannonade Drive, Marlboro, NJ 07746. We also conducted an inspection from August 6 through 14, 2020. These inspections were conducted to determine compliance with the requirements of section 805 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 384a) and the implementing FSVP regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

The FSVP regulation requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that human and/or animal food they import into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards. You may find information relating to the FSVP regulation and your responsibilities to comply with the regulation through links in FDA's FSVP web page at https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-final-rule-foreign-supplier-verification-programs-fsvp-importers-food-humans-and-animals.

During the most recent inspection, we found that you are not in compliance with the requirements of 21 CFR part 1, subpart L for the foods you import. Because of these significant violations, you are not in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act.

At the conclusion of the inspection, our investigator provided you with a Form FDA 483a, FSVP Observations and on August 30, 2022, we provided you with an amended 483a, FSVP Observations. We have not received your response to the original or amended Form FDA 483a.

Your significant violation of the FSVP regulation is as follows:

1. You did not develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP, as required by section 805 of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 1.502(a). Specifically, you did not develop an FSVP for any of the foods you import, including funnel cake imported from your foreign supplier (b)(4), located in (b)(4), black tea imported from your foreign supplier (b)(4), located in (b)(4), and instant noodles imported from your foreign supplier (b)(4), located in (b)(4).

During our inspection you provided tax return documents to demonstrate that your firm currently meets the definition of a very small importer under 21 CFR 1.500. If you choose to comply with the modified requirements in 21 CFR 1.512 for very small importers, you must document that you meet the definition of a very small importer as required per 21 CFR 1.512(b)(1)(i). You are also still required to comply with the requirements in sections 1.502, 1.503, and 1.509. However, you are not required to comply with the requirements in sections 1.504 through 1.508 or 1.510 (see 21 CFR 1.512(b)(2)). In addition, for each food you import, you must obtain written assurance, before importing the food and at least every two years thereafter, that your foreign supplier is producing the food in compliance with processes and procedures that provide at least the same level of public health protection as those required under section 418 or 419 of the FD&C Act, if either is applicable, and the implementing regulations, and is producing the food in compliance with sections 402 and 403(w) (if applicable) of the FD&C Act (see 21 CFR 1.512(b)(3)(i)).

The above violation is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations of the FSVP requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act and the implementing regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you an opportunity to address them. If you do not adequately address this matter, we may take further action. For instance, we may take action under section 801(a)(3) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 381(a)(3)) to refuse admission of the food you import for which you appear to be in violation of section 805. We may place the foods you import into the United States on detention without physical examination (DWPE) when you import the foods. You can find DWPE information relating to FSVP in Import Alert # 99-41 at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/ialist.html. In addition, the importation or offering for importation into the United States of an article of food without the importer having an FSVP that meets the requirements of section 805 of the FD&C Act or the FSVP regulation is prohibited under section 301(zz) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 331(zz)).

You should respond in writing within fifteen (15) working days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should address the specific things you are doing to correct any violations. You should include in your response documentation and information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections (e.g., documentation of changes you made, such as a copy of your FSVP, records to demonstrate implementation of your FSVP), and any additional information that you wish to supply relevant to your compliance with the FSVP regulation. If you believe that you are not in violation of the FD&C Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration. If you cannot complete all corrections within 15 working days, you should explain the reason for your delay and state when you will correct any remaining violations.

Please send your reply to Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Linda Ross, Compliance Officer, Division of Northeast Imports, ORAOEIONEIMPORTSWLResponses@fda.hhs.gov. Please also cc (carbon copy) Linda.Ross@fda.hhs.gov. If you have any questions regarding this letter, you may contact Compliance Officer Ross via email at Linda.Ross@fda.hhs.gov. Please reference CMS# 642204 on any documents or records you provide to us and/ or within the subject line of any email correspondence you send to us.


Theresa Smedley
Acting Program Division Director
Division of Northeast Imports

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