What is FSVP?
FSVP stands for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs. It is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Free Tutorial: Learn more about the FSVP Rule
What is the the purpose of the FSVP Rule?
The purpose of this rule is to ensure that foreign suppliers of human and animal food that will be consumed in the US are meeting the same level of public health protection as those required under the other FSMA rules. It is the responsibility of the importer to verify the suppliers are meeting their food safety obligations. Foreign suppliers that are not registered with the FDA are not regulated by the FDA. The US importer will need to ask foreign suppliers to provide information to help demonstrate that the US importer has met their obligation. Communication will be the key to meeting requirements.
Key principles of the FSVP Rule
Importers share responsibility with foreign suppliers to ensure safety of food imported into the U.S.
FSVP requirements are risk-based (according to types of food, types of hazards, and supplier performance).
Importers have flexibility in how they meet requirements.
Who is the FSVP Importer?
This is the person or entity in the United States who at the time of US entry either owns the food, has purchased the food, or has agreed in writing to purchase the food. They must be located in the United States. This is the person in the United States that is taking responsibility for meeting the obligations under the F SVP. These are the key points in determining who is the US FSVP importer. Because the US FSVP importer must be located in the United States, the US FSVP importer will never be an overseas entity.
The importer might not be the person or company that you would identify as the US customer. The definition is not the same as the importer of record under the US customs and border protection rules. It is possible that the importer of record may serve as the FSVP importer if they also meet the definition of the FSP P importer. It is important that whoever is handling the US customs entry filing understands that the person identified as the FSVP importer is the person the FDA will see is responsible for complying with the FSVP rule requirements. Someone must be designated as the FSVP Importer at entry or the customs filing will be rejected. The FSVP should already have done the work to fulfill the requirements of the FSVP importer far in advance of shipping the food.The FDA has published a worksheet to help you determine whether FSVP applies to you. View the PDF worksheet
What are the Responsibilities of the FSVP?
- Determining known or reasonably foreseeable hazards with each food imported
- Evaluating the risk posed by the food (based on a hazard analysis and foreign supplier’s performance)
- Using that evaluation to approve suppliers
- Conducting supplier verification activities and
- Conducting corrective actions
The FSVP rule requires activities such as reading and reviewing records from foreign suppliers. These activities must be done by a qualified individual. The definition states: a person who has the education, training, or experience necessary to perform an activity required by the FSVP rule and can read and understand the language of any record that the person must review in performing this activity.
A qualified individual may be, but is not required to be, an employee of the importer. A government employee, including a foreign government employee, may be a qualified individual. Different tasks may require different qualifications, so the person must be qualified for the task they are performing.
What makes up a foreign supplier verification program? Your FSVP is made up of all the records and documentation that demonstrate your compliance with applicable FSVP requirements for a particular imported food product or foreign supplier. This could mean multiple FSVPs for a product. The FDA has allowed flexibility in implementing the rule. Importers can determine the best way to meet the requirements for their situation. The US importer is required to develop, maintain and follow a foreign supplier verification program for each type of food they import, and each supplier they are importing from. The program is not one specific thing, it is everything that the importer does to comply with the requirement. To meet requirements the importer will conduct hazard analysis, evaluate and approve suppliers, conduct verification activities, identify the US FSVP importer at entry, and document all of these activities.
Registrar Corp offers the official FSPCA FSVP Training Course as an online, self-paced course.
Animal Food PCQI Online Training: FSPCA Preventive Controls for Animal Food
Become a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for Animal Food. Learn to develop and implement an FDA-compliant Food Safety Plan. Convenient self-paced, online training for the working professional with a busy schedule.
FSVP Online Training: FSPCA Foreign Supplier Verification Programs
The FDA Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) requires most U.S. Food Importers to develop FSVPs for each product they import from a Foreign Supplier. This course helps you understand the requirements in order to comply with the FSVP rule.
Who Needs FSVP Training?
- U.S.‐based importers who meet the definition of “importer” in the FSVP rule, which includes those who own or are the consignee of food at the time of entry, or, if no owner or consignee exists, the U.S. agent or representative of the foreign owner.
- Others who have an interest in ensuring that the requirements of the FSVP rule are met, including brokers, exporters, foreign suppliers of food that will be exported to the U.S., persons/business owners who currently buy food from foreign sources, and representatives of foreign governments.