Unlock 7 Steps to Verifying Your FSVP

Unlock 7 Steps to Verifying Your FSVP

 

Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

Due to the increasingly global nature of today’s industry, an increasing number of businesses are searching for their suppliers overseas. Even though foreign sourcing has traditionally been difficult, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) established under the FSMA does not make the process any less difficult.

The obligation for guaranteeing that imported food items are safe has been transferred from the government to the corporations in accordance with the FSVP rule. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds importers responsible for ensuring that food brought into the United States and Canada meets the requirements set out by the agency.

FDA FSVP Certification

We have listed the following seven steps for businesses that want to get their FSVP certification.

What is FSVP?

Importers put in place a program known as an FSVP Plan in order to ensure that their international suppliers produce food in a way that is safe for the general public’s health. These plans demonstrate that foreign suppliers export food that has not been adulterated, that allergies are properly identified, and that U.S. preventative controls or safety laws are met.

All food and drinks, food and color additives introduced during processing, nutritional supplements, packaging, and food contact substances are considered part of an FSVP Plan’s definition of “food.”

Follow the FSVP checklist to ensure timely results.

Step 1: Review Compliance Status

The Quality Inspector will initially make contact with a foreign supplier to investigate the latter’s present level of compliance. Additionally, the compliance history of the supplier is taken into consideration by the QI.

This is done by looking at warning letters from Customs, import warnings, and requirements for certification issued by the FDA in accordance with section 801(q) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

Step 2: Perform Hazard Analysis

Importers are obligated to do a risk assessment on each and every food they bring into the country, evaluating not just the possible dangers but also the likelihood and severity of such dangers. The majority of the time, a danger analysis has already been carried out by a foreign provider. The QI will analyze the pre-existing hazard assessment and write their findings in these circumstances.

If a supplier does not have a hazard analysis, it is the obligation of importers to investigate the firm’s activities and seek for dangers that need to be controlled. If the investigation does not uncover any potential hazards, there will be no need for further product verification. Nevertheless, an importer is required to preserve a copy of the hazard study in their records as verification.

Do you need help getting your FSVP certification?

 

Step 3: Verify Suppliers     

Importers can check suppliers in several ways. On-site audits, frequent sampling, testing, and reviewing of food safety records and documentation are examples of verification procedures. Importers can do their own on-site audits or employ a third-party auditor to verify a foreign supplier’s activities. According to CFR Title 21, importers don’t need on-site audits unless a danger may cause significant health repercussions or death.

Importers who rely on product sampling and testing for verification must keep detailed records.

  • Sample kinds and numbers
  • Sample lot numbers
  • Tests
  • Corrective measures for dangers
  • Laboratory information
  • QI test documentation

FSVP importers can check food safety records. If so, they must keep track of the documents they evaluated, when they reviewed them, and what they were. They must also document their findings and remedial measures.

Step 4: Take Corrective Action

When necessary, importers have the authority to demand remedial steps from their suppliers. During verification efforts, it is possible to discover that a firm is not storing a product at the required temperature to prevent it from going wrong or that a company is picking lettuce after applying organic manure.

Both of these violations are considered fraudulent. It is possible that the investigation will determine that a corporation needs to provide bathrooms for its field personnel. Each of these cases calls for a unique course of action to be taken, illustrating how solutions will be unique to both individual businesses and individual products.

Step 5: Provide Importer Identification Upon Entry

A Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS, the number is required for every business that deals in international trade. When submitting an entry form with Customs and Border Protection, importers are required to supply both their name and their DUNS number.  For an update on the DUNS requirement for 2022 Food Facility Registrations click here:

Step 6: Maintain accurate records over time

Additionally essential is the maintenance of extensive records. Importers are required by the FDA to keep documents relating to compliance status, foreign supplier verification efforts, hazard analyses, investigations, and remedial measures in accordance with the FSVP regulation.

Additionally, importers are required to undergo FSVP reassessments. Unless otherwise instructed, importers must preserve their records in either their original form, a photocopy, or digital format for at least two years. Additionally, the records must be made available to the FDA whenever they request them.

Step 7:  Reassess the FSVP plan consistently

After the verification process, an importer is free to purchase items from a supplier who has been approved. Nevertheless, a continuous focus on assessment and upkeep is necessary for an effective FSVP plan. According to the law, importers are required to conduct a reevaluation of their FSVP Plans every three years. An earlier evaluation is required to take place in the event that an importer becomes aware of new dangers associated with imported goods, such as a changed product formulation or a different source of raw materials.

FSVP Importers are required to take corrective measures if the evaluation determines that an imported food no longer satisfies the standards of the FSVP. Their actions may consist of deciding to update their FSVP Plan to guarantee that they screen suppliers in a more comprehensive manner or refraining from engaging with a supplier until that party has addressed any identified risks.

Before bringing food into the United States, importers must perform their own research as part of the Food Safety and Voluntary Program (FSVP). When it comes to compliance, taking a preventative stance is the best way to avoid difficulties in the future. Even if the food is safe and the overseas supplier is complying with regulations, the FDA has the authority to prevent shipments from entering the nation if it determines that a company’s FSVP efforts are deficient. Importers may better protect themselves and the food supply of the United States at the same time by following the FSVP checklist.

Conclusion

Due to the increasingly global nature of today’s industry, an increasing number of businesses are searching for their suppliers overseas. Even though foreign sourcing has traditionally been difficult, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) established under the FSMA does not make the process any less difficult.

The obligation for guaranteeing that imported food items are safe has been transferred from the government to the corporations in accordance with the FSVP rule. FSVP certification is essential to operate your business. If you are an FSVP importer, follow the above-mentioned FSVP checklist to get the desired results.

If you are busy, you can contact an expert to guide you further and make these steps of getting FSVP certification easier for you.

How Quality Smart Solutions can help

Firstly, QSS can help with formula review, product labeling, and nutrition facts creation (for Canada and the USA).

Secondly, we can also help with registering supplemented foods with TMALs (Temporary Market Authorization License) or reviewing when the new Supplemented Food Regulations are published. 

Thirdly, we help with Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (HACCP, PCP, Import Licensing, and GRAS Notifications). 

Help with facility registration, FSVP agent, and US Agent.  

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