Exporting food overseas

Does your business export products overseas?

Exporting to China:

Further to a recently introduced requirement by the Chinese authorities for all dairy establishments that export to China to register with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has now published a Customer Information Note (CIN) on this issue. This Note also includes information on some labelling requirements for all food products exported to China which, although already in existence, are likely to be enforced more rigorously henceforth. These new regulations came into effect on 1 May 2014.

Should you require further advice on this matter, you can contact the Food Standards Agency's Exports Branch at thirdcountryexports@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

Exporting to the USA: 

This is important advice for those food businesses who may export food products to the USA. The Food Standards Agency have advised that companies exporting food and drink to the United States need to quickly re-register with the US Government after it overhauled its licensing rules.

Please ignore this if your business does not trade food products with the USA.

Key notes:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that every foreign and domestic food company must sign up  otherwise they will temporarily lose access to the US market.

The FDA will then require this re-registration every two years - with the next registration required in 2014.

Guidance on registration requirements can be found here 

Exporters can apply online or in writing and are advised to sign up for the FDA's email updates

Formal stakeholder release

The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into US law on 4 January 2011.  FSMA represents the largest overhaul of U.S. food regulations in over 70 years.  FSMA requires biennial (i.e. every two years) renewal of food facility registrations (foreign and domestic) on each even-numbered year (i.e. 2012, 2014, 2016 etc).  Beginning in 2012, even if a facility has previously registered with the FDA, it will need to re-register every two years within the registration period, normally 1 October to 31 December. Guidance on registration requirements (including U.S. agent requirements) can be found here: FDA Guidance

To access the online registration system: http://www.access.fda.gov/ (the food facility registration module is listed at the top left).  To submit a paper form instead, you can access it by going here: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Forms/UCM071977.pdf.

The same form (as with the online system) can be used both for an initial registration or to update a current registration.

If you have additional questions you may contact the FDA by phone: 001-800-216-7331 or 001-301-575-0156; 07:30 to 23:00 (EST) (12:30 to 04:00 (GMT)).  Please expect extended wait times due to the current registration period being in effect.

Finally, it is highly recommended that your facility sign up for email updates from the FDA: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFDA/subscriber/new?pop=t&topic_id=USFDA_206 

Other regulations and guidance that are relevant to importers are still under development and could be released shortly, such as the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).

Useful Information

Further information on the import and export of animals and animal products

For further information please contact the Food Safety Team