A Comprehensive Guide to FSVP Rules and Records for Importers

A Comprehensive Guide to FSVP Rules and Records for Importers

A Comprehensive Guide to FSVP Rules and Records for Importers Introduction:


For importers in the global food trade, ensuring the safety and compliance of imported products is a top priority. The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) is vital to this effort, requiring importers to adhere to specific rules and meticulously maintain accurate records. In this article, we’ll delve into everything importers need to know about FSVP rules and the crucial role of journals in demonstrating compliance and safeguarding consumer health. Click here to learn more about the FSVP Importer Requirements.

Understanding FSVP Rules

  1. Hazard Analysis: Importers are required to perform a thorough hazard analysis for each imported food product. This involves identifying potential hazards, assessing their likelihood and severity, and determining appropriate preventive measures.
  2. Verification Activities: FSVP rules mandate that importers conduct verification activities to ensure the safety of imported products. These activities include on-site audits, testing, supplier questionnaires, and reviewing supplier records.
  3. Supplier Verification: Importers must verify that their foreign suppliers meet the same safety standards required for domestic food producers. This involves assessing the supplier’s compliance history, safety practices, and product testing.
  4. Documentation and Records: Comprehensive documentation is essential for FSVP compliance. Importers must maintain records that demonstrate their adherence to FSVP rules. This includes hazard analysis documentation, verification results, communication with suppliers, and corrective action plans.

The Crucial Role of FSVP Records

  1. Record-Keeping Requirements: FSVP regulations require importers to maintain records for a specific duration, typically two years. These records must be readily accessible for inspection by regulatory authorities, allowing them to verify compliance.
  2. Transparency and Accountability: Accurate and well-organized records clarify your compliance efforts. In the event of an audit or inspection, thorough records demonstrate your commitment to safety and help build trust with regulatory authorities.
  3. Evidence of Compliance: Records indicate that you have conducted hazard analyses, performed verification activities, and taken necessary corrective actions. This evidence showcases your dedication to product safety.
  4. Corrective Actions: Records of disciplinary actions taken in response to identified hazards or non-compliance demonstrate your commitment to addressing issues promptly and effectively.

Maintaining Effective FSVP Records

  1. Organized Documentation: Create a systematic approach to record-keeping. Maintain digital or physical folders for each imported product, including hazard analyses, verification reports, and supplier communication.
  2. Timely Updates: Ensure records are updated in real-time as you conduct verification activities and identify hazards. Timely updates provide an accurate representation of your compliance efforts.
  3. Regular Reviews: Periodically review your records to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. This proactive approach ensures that your documentation remains comprehensive and accurate.


For importers, FSVP rules and records form the backbone of product safety and regulatory compliance. By understanding FSVP rules, diligently maintaining accurate records, and embracing transparency, importers contribute to a safer global food supply chain. Effective record-keeping demonstrates compliance, builds trust with regulatory authorities, and prioritizes consumer health. As importers continue to navigate the intricate landscape of FSVP regulations, comprehensive records are a powerful tool in upholding the highest standards in importing food products.

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 or reviewing when the new Supplemented Food rules.

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.  Unlock your FSVP Certification with these 7 steps.

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About the author

Andrew Parshad
Andrew Parshad
Andrew Parshad is President, CEO and founder of Quality Smart Solutions, a North American compliance solutions provider offering regulatory and quality assurance services to comply with FDA & Health Canada brands and ingredients regulations in the categories of dietary supplements, foods, cosmetics, OTC drugs and medical devices. Andrew started Quality Smart Solutions in 2007. Since that time he and his firm has served thousands of clients worldwide . Andrew's affiliate company, Quality IMPORT Solutions that offers import agent services into the Canadian market as a government licensed importer for foods, dietary supplements and medical devices.


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