On July 20, United Fresh hosted FDA officials in a webinar explaining current thinking on their proposed Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP). Brian Pendleton, Senior Policy Advisor in FDA’s Office of Policy and Planning, and Domenic Veneziano, Director of FDA’s Division of Import Operations, provided a brief overview of the program and answered dozens of questions. As described in the draft guidance published in the Federal Register on June 5, VQIP is a program “which provides for expedited review and importation of food offered for importation by importers who voluntarily agree to participate in the program.” The user-fee based program will integrate with several pending FSMA regulations, including Accredited Third Party Certification, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, Preventive Controls for Human Food and Animal Feed, and Intentional Adulteration, and is not expected to be implemented until 2018, after those rules are final and enforceable. FDA has allowed United Fresh to make the presentation available here.
FDA had invited comments on the draft guidance and United Fresh had convened a working group to do so. Click here to view comments. United Fresh members who want to learn more about the working group and United’s comments should contact Erin Grether at 202.303.3402.
Comments for FDA closed August 19, 2015.