U.S.: No time to waste on FDA facility registrations

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U.S.: No time to waste on FDA facility registrations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not be enforcing new facility registration regulations until Jan. 31, but the United Fresh Produce Association says that is no excuse to wait on filling out paperwork.

United Fresh vice president of food safety and technology, David Gombas, has urged both U.S. importers and foreign suppliers to make sure they comply with the new requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Registrations can be made on the FDA website.

"Firstly, it's not an extended deadline. They've just said they're not going to enforce it for another month, under what's called discretionary enforcement," Gombas told www.freshfruitportal.com.

"My recommendation is don't wait until the deadline. At the last minute everyone will want to register and that's when problems occur."

Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) president Lance Jungmeyer said it was important for importers to make sure any warehouses they might defer food to when overstocked are also registered. His comments were echoed by Gombas.

"The FDA has said that anyone who will be handling produce or any food requires registration - there is no law that says if you do its sometime that's okay," Gombas said.

"Letting any warehouses you know to get registered is the safer way to go - because if imports aren't registered they can't even cross the border.

"The registration is actually fairly simple. You fill in the blanks, and once you've registered a facility and you have to make changes later on, you can go back and do that."

He added that foreign facility registrations needed to identify a U.S. agent.

The FDA says all food facilities are required to register, even if they have already registered, and will need to re-register between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 in even-numbered years.

Photo: FDA


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