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I’m a FSVP Importer: How Do I Know When I Need To Comply?

That is one of the most common – and difficult – questions to answer when OFW Law teaches a Food Safety Modernization Act Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSMA FSVP) course.  Determining the compliance dates is typically more challenging for the affected importers.  To make it easier, OFW Law has created flow diagrams and examples to help the FSVP Importer determine when they must be compliant. 

It is important to note that a FSVP Importer must develop a FSVP program based on the foreign supplier and the food being imported.  In other words, foreign suppliers are not allowed “general approval” for all foods being produced by them.  A FSVP program is for the foreign supplier and the food product being imported.

Also, the FSVP Importer will need to determine if standard or modified requirements to the FSVP rule apply to them based on their size, and their foreign supplier and the food their foreign supplier produces.

The FSVP Importer will need to determine when the FSVP Rule is effective.  Compliance dates for the FSVP Rule are dependent on:

  • the importer;
  • size of the foreign supplier; and
  • when the foreign supplier must meet the requirements for the Preventive Controls for Human or Animal Food Rules or the Produce Safety Rule.

Bottom line: The FSVP Rule goes into effect May 30, 2017, 18 months after the FSVP Final Rule was published, or 6 months after the FSVP Importer’s foreign supplier is required to meet the relevant Food Drug Administration (FDA) FSMA regulations for the food they produce for export. 

Essentially, FSVP importers will need to determine when their foreign supplier needs to be compliant with FSMA, and add 6 months to that date for their own compliance date to the FSVP Rule.

If you would like a copy of the OFW Law “I’m a FSVP Importer:  How Do I Know When I Need To Comply?” document, please email Betsy Booren.

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