Trade Update • May 11, 2022 A
pplication to participate in the Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program for fiscal year 2023 will close on May 31 for importers.
Voluntary Qualified Importer Program
The Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) is a voluntary fee-based program that provides expedited review and import entry of human and animal foods into the United States for participating importers. Participating importers are able to import their products into the U.S. with greater speed and predictability, avoiding unexpected delays at the point of import entry.
To participate, importers must meet eligibility criteria and pay a user fee that covers cost associated with the FDA’s administration of the program.
- You have a 3-year history of importing food into the United States.
- You have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numberExternal Link Disclaimer.
- You use paperless filers/brokers who received an acceptable rating during their last FDA Filer Evaluation.
- None of the foods you import, including ones you do not intend to include in your VQIP application, is subject to an import alert or Class 1 recall at the time you submit your application.
- Neither you nor the non-applicant entities associated with a VQIP food are subject to an ongoing FDA administrative or judicial action (e.g., Import Alert, injunction, and debarment), or have a history of significant non-compliances relating to food safety (e.g., an “Official Action Indicated” (OAI) FDA inspection classification; one or more voluntary Class 1 recalls relating to food safety) with no documentation of appropriate corrective actions.
- If you are the FSVP or HACCP importer (U.S. owner or consignee at the time of entry into the United States or the U.S. agent or representative of the foreign owner or consignee at the time of entry into the U.S.) for a VQIP food, you are in compliance with the supplier verification and other importer responsibilities under the applicable FSVP, juice HACCP, or seafood HACCP regulations.
- If you are not the FSVP or HACCP importer for a VQIP food, you must identify the FSVP or HACCP importer for the food and ensure that the FSVP or HACCP importer is in compliance with the applicable FSVP or HACCP regulations.
- You have a current facility certification for each foreign supplier of the food you intend to import under the VQIP.
- You develop and implement a VQIP Quality Assurance Program (QAP). Documentation of your QAP must be submitted with your VQIP application.
- Within the past 3 years, you have not been the subject of any U.S. Customs and Border Protection penalties, forfeitures, or sanctions that are related to the safety and security of any FDA-regulated product that you imported or offered for import.
- You must pay the user fee before October 1, the start of VQIP fiscal year, each year that you are approved to participate in the VQIP.
Importers interested in applying can start their application by submitting a notice of intent to participate by setting up an account via the FDA Industry Systems website.
For more information:
Questions may be submitted to the VQIP Importers’ Help Desk via 1-301-796-8745 or via email to FSMAVQIP@fda.hhs.gov.