THE Department of Trade and Industry, through the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) and Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), is urging all food and beverage exporters to the United States to renew the registration of their food facilities as mandated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires that food facilities should renew their registrations with the FDA during “the period beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 of each even-numbered year.” With this requirement, renewals should be done this year within the period October 1 to December 31, 2018.
Shipments from the Philippines may be refused entry to the US when the associated food facility registration is not renewed properly. For further inquiries, exporters may contact FURLS Helpdesk through phone: 1-800-216-7331 or 301-575-0156 or through e-mail at [email protected]
For first-time food exporters to the US, the relevant guidance on food facility registration is found at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/default.htm.
Meanwhile, Philippine exporters are also urged to review their labels to assure compliance with the new FDA requirements on the Nutrition Facts labels for food, beverages and dietary supplements, which will take effect on January 1, 2020. Labeling errors are a leading cause of FDA detentions. The relevant information is contained in: https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm537159.htm.
The US FDA has updated the packaged foods and beverages’ Nutrition Facts label with a new design for easier reading and simpler identification.
In addition to these upcoming deadlines, Philippine exporters to the US need to be aware that the compliance deadlines have passed for the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule for both small and large facilities. This rule requires facilities to implement written Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) Food Safety Plans.
Plans, such as Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP), British Retail Consortium (BRC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Safe Quality Food (SQF) do not satisfy this new requirement. Facilities that have not yet developed their plan are recommended to do so immediately as the US FDA may request a facility’s Food Safety Plan as part of a routine inspection.
Additionally, the US importer is expected to request a copy of the facility’s plan to fulfill the importer’s requirements under FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program rule. US FDA’s FSMA Preventive Controls Rule can be viewed at https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334115.htm.