The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)
As part of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) introduced in 2015. By requiring importers to conduct a range of activities, it helps ensure that food from foreign suppliers is produced in compliance with US food safety standards. Emphasizing hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls, FSVP requires importers (or party within the supply chain) to verify that up and downstream suppliers are meeting the safety standards. The verification process for foreign suppliers is flexible and can include several options from on-site audits, sampling and testing, and reviews of relevant food safety records.
What are the Benefits of FSVP?
While not establishing its own safety requirements for manufacturing and processing, FSVP benefits public health by helping ensure imported food production complies with food safety regulations. Bringing imported foods within the scope of US health and safety standards reduces the likelihood of contamination, adulteration, and fraud.
What Must an Importer Provide?
The FSVP of an importer must provide for three separate processes:
- An evaluation of the potential hazards of the imported product.
- An evaluation of the performance of the foreign supplier in question.
- A plan for the performance of periodic, appropriate supplier verification activities.
Potential hazards found during this process must lead to evaluation of controlling those hazards. If an importer brings in more than one product from any foreign supplier, an FSVP analysis must be performed individually for each product.