FDA releases final guidance for voluntary qualified importer program

This guidance document describes FDA’s policy regarding participation in FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program by importers of food for humans or animals.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing final guidance for industry for a voluntary, fee-based program to allow the expedited review and importation of foods into the United States from importers with a proven track record of food safety and security. The final guidance is in question-and-answer format to explain how this program will work.

The Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) will benefit both industry and consumers. Expedited entry provides importers an incentive to adopt a robust system of supply chain management and will allow FDA to focus its resources on examining and sampling food imports that are more likely to present a potential risk to public health.

This guidance document describes FDA’s policy regarding participation in FDA’s VQIP by importers of food for humans or animals. This document provides guidance on:

  • The benefits VQIP importers can expect to receive
  • The eligibility criteria for VQIP participation
  • Instructions for completing a VQIP application
  • Conditions that may result in revocation of participation in VQIP, and
  • Criteria for VQIP reinstatement following revocation.

Resources:

Final Guidance for Industry: FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

Final Guidance Fact Sheet

Instructions for Submitting the VQIP Application

Webinar on the Final Guidance for the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

Federal Register Notice

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