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Food Safety Fees from U.S. FDA

Earlier this week, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) proposed food safety-related fees for the 2012 fiscal year.  The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) enables U.S. FDA to collect user fees when a food facility is re-inspected or when U.S. FDA resources are used to verify a food recall.  The proposed food safety fees would be effective October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.  These food safety fees, according to FSMA, will be invoiced to domestic food facilities directly and to U.S. Agents of foreign food facilities.

Rates for re-inspection fees were posted as a notice in the Federal Register earlier this week at the following rates:

  • US $224 per hour for staff working on domestic food facilities
  • US $325 per hour for staff working on foreign food facilities

Re-inspection rates, which are expected to cover inspectors’ hourly rates and administrative tasks, laboratory testing, and travel expenses, are to be collected only in certain instances.  U.S. FDA has proposed that these food safety fees be collected when a previous inspection finds significant public health threats which required regulatory action.  If the firm can supply sufficient proof that the manufactured food product was not adulterated nor misbranded, U.S. FDA may not collect the fees, according to the notice.

When generating these proposed fees, U.S. FDA considered extensive research regarding both historical and expected costs of inspecting food facilities worldwide.

Industry may comment on this notice until October 31, 2011 as comments will be considered when U.S. FDA defines 2013 user fees.