Does the FDA Enforce Food Import Regulations?

Importer FSVP requirements

Yes, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) enforces food import regulations to ensure that imported foods meet the same safety standards as domestic foods. The FDA has the authority to inspect and detain imported food products at U.S. ports of entry and can refuse entry to any product that does not meet its safety standards.

All products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration must meet the same requirements, whether imported from abroad or produced domestically. The job of protecting consumers includes an ever-increasing need to oversee imports. Companies importing food need to comply to the FSMA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP).

The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) is a regulatory program established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that food imported into the United States is produced in a manner that is equivalent to the standards set forth in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FSVP requires importers to verify that their foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that meets U.S. standards and to have measures in place to ensure that imported food is safe for human or animal consumption.

Under the FSVP, importers must perform certain verification activities, such as conducting on-site inspections of foreign suppliers, reviewing supplier documentation, and conducting risk assessments. The program also requires importers to take appropriate corrective actions when they identify problems with the safety of imported food and to maintain records of their verification activities.

The FSVP is an important component of the FDA’s efforts to ensure the safety of the food supply and to protect consumers from foodborne illness.

Imported FDA-regulated products are electronically screened before they enter the U.S. Consumers and importers of imported FDA-regulated products will find helpful information detailed on this website.

How to start importing FDA-regulated products

  • Importing FDA-Regulated Products
    Information and requirements for importing FDA-regulated products
  • Entry Submission Process
    Information you need to file an entry with the FDA
  • Common Entry Errors
    Information regarding common errors to help you provide accurate and complete information to the FDA
  • Import Systems
    Information regarding the electronic import systems the FDA utilizes to review and validate entry data and information
  • FEI Portal (NEW)
    Look up an FDA Establishment Identifier (FEI) based on a firm name and address or validate an address of an FEI