The FSMA Food Safety Modernization Act gives FDA unprecedented authority to better ensure that imported products meet U.S. standards and are safe for U.S. consumers. New authorities include:
Importer accountability: For the first time, importers have an explicit responsibility to verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure that the
food they produce is safe. (Final regulation and guidance due 1 year following enactment)
Third Party Certification: FSMA establishes a program through which qualified third parties can certify that foreign food facilities comply with U.S. food safety standards. This certification may be used to facilitate the entry of imports. (Establishment of a system for FDA to recognize accreditation bodies due 2 years after enactment).
Certification for high risk foods: FDA has the authority to require that high‐risk imported foods be accompanied by a credible third party certification or other assurance of compliance as a condition of entry into the U.S.
Voluntary qualified importer program: FDA must establish a voluntary program for importers that provides for expedited review and entry of foods from participating importers. Eligibility is limited to, among other things, importers offering food
from certified facilities. (Implementation due 18 months after enactment).
Authority to deny entry: FDA can refuse entry into the U.S. of food from a foreign facility if FDA is denied access by the facility or the country in which the facility is located.