The Food and Drug Administration recently announced the creation of its online system for U.S. agents of registered food facilities. The agency’s U.S. Agent Voluntary Identification System, unveiled in a guidance document issued earlier this month, will allow U.S. agents to identify the facilities for which the agent has agreed to serve.
The FDA states that VIS is intended to be used in conjunction with its food facility registration database, the Food Facility Registration Module, to streamline and expedite the U.S. agent verification process.
Pursuant to provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, U.S. and foreign food facilities that are engaged in the manufacturing, processing, packing or holding of foods for consumption in the United States are required to register with the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Registered foreign food facilities are also required to have a U.S. Agent who acts as a communications link with FDA officials.
Utilizing the FDA’s food facility registration database, the VIS allows U.S. agents to independently identify the facility or facilities they are representing. In such situations, the FDA will provide the U.S. agent with an identification number for their facilities.
New Option and Benefits
Foreign food facilities now have the option of providing the identification number of their U.S. agent during registration.
When a foreign facility uses a U.S. agent ID number in accordance with the VIS and the name of the facility matches the facility name and address the U.S. agent has identified, FDA will consider that verification without taking any additional steps to verify the U.S. agent—thus facilitating the process of providing a food facility registration number.
Need More Information?
Should you have any questions about the new VIS that are not already addressed in the FDA’s guidance document, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts about this or other FDA-related trade matters.