Some foreign food makers have recently found themselves unceremoniously purged from FDA’s database of registered facilities, and their products stopped at the port.
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), all food facilities required to register with FDA must renew their registrations every two years, during the fourth quarter of every even-numbered year. The first registration renewal period ended December 31, 2012, but was extended by FDA until January 31, 2013. Food facilities that did not renew their registrations in time have had their registrations invalidated by FDA and will need to complete new registrations and obtain new registration numbers.
Apparently, a significant number of foreign food facilities were unaware of the new requirement to renew their registrations and were caught off guard. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), FDA is in the process of modifying the registration status of these facilities to “invalid.” Beginning on February 1, 2013, CBP began to hold or reject shipments of food from foreign facilities with invalidated FDA registrations.
This can be easily corrected by the facilities involved. In the meantime, domestic companies may wish to check to make sure their foreign suppliers’ FDA registrations are in good standing, or even request proof of registration from their foreign suppliers.