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Rule 6

Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) Rule

Covered facilities that operate under Foreign Supplier Verification Program should be aware of the following changes outlined in the Ruling:

The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FVSP) is the newest Food Safety Standard released by the FDA. It requires importers to conduct a range of activities to ensure that food from foreign suppliers is produced in compliance with the applicable food safety conditions.

The requirements for FSVP align with the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls requirements for U.S. food facilities that were established in the FDA’s preventive controls for human and animal food. Importers that are already registered with a food facility and are controlling hazards under the preventive controls regulations will not have to comply with the majority of the provisions of this rule.

Under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, the FDA requires that the importer (or party within the supply chain) has to verify that either up or downstream suppliers are meeting the new safety standards. An importer’s FVSP must be a written plan which provides for three separate processes:

  • An evaluation of the potential hazards of the imported food
  • An evaluation of the performance of the particular foreign supplier
  • A plan for the performance of periodic and appropriate supplier verification activities

If any potential hazards are found during this process then the foreign supplier’s performance in controlling hazards must be evaluated. If the potential hazard could cause serious health consequences, the minimum criterion is that a verification audit must be conducted annually. If an importer utilizes more than one foreign supplier, a separate FSVP must be developed for each. If an importer obtains more than one food product from any foreign supplier, an FSVP analysis must be performed for each food product.

Overall, the foreign supplier verification process is relatively flexible and may include on-site audits, sampling and testing, and reviews of the suppliers’ relevant food safety records.

Perry Johnson Registrars Food Safety, Inc. has a team of trained assessors worldwide that can perform an FSMA readiness assessment to ensure your food safety system meets the necessary requirements of the Preventive Controls for Human Food Regulation.