FDA Issues Draft Guidance On The FSMA Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued draft guidance regarding the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) for food importers. The program was created pursuant to a mandate in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). VQIP provides expedited entry for food from importers who have a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains. Participation is limited to food from foreign facilities that are certified by an accredited third-party auditor under the new accreditation program FDA is establishing. FDA expects to open the program for applications in January 2018.