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FDA Publishes Guidance Document for Qualified Food Importers

July 27, 2015

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a guidance document for the release of the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) designed for expedited review and importation of foods into the USA. This review is exclusive for importers with proven food safety track record.

The VQIP specifies the following benefit for the industry and consumers:

  • Importers with a robust system of supply-chain management will receive expedited entry for imported foods that are in the program
  • Consumer protections are strengthened by enabling the FDA to focus its resources on food imports that are more likely to present a potential risk to public health

The guidance document provides the following:

  • VQIP importer benefits
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Instructions for completing a VQIP application
  • Conditions that could result in revocation of VQIP participation
  • Criteria for VQIP reinstatement following revocation

A public consultation until August 19, 2015 is open for the guidance document.