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2012 Natural Products Expo West: Helpful FDA Compliance Shipping Tips

With the 2012 Natural Products Expo West fast approaching (March 9-11), many foreign exhibitors are still shipping last minute tradeshow samples to the United States via DHL, UPS, or FedEx.  So the question is: Will the attendees place an order for 1 truckload of your new organic products, or 10?  You may never know unless your products arrive safely to Natural Products Expo West. Exporters need to remember to follow a few FDA compliance guidelines that are often overlooked.

Exporters should remember even though they are exhibitors, and may not have any other business in the U.S., they are still obligated to have a FDA Food Facility Registration as required under the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. Additionally, their FDA Food Facility Registration also requires that they list a designated U.S. Agent for FDA communications. It is a common error that even if a shipper does remember to obtain a Food Facility Registration, he often fails to put the proper address. He mistakenly uses the forwarder or shipper’s address, instead of the correct Foreign Food Facility address. For a quick way to register a food facility and have a designated U.S. Agent for FDA communications, visit www.registrarcorp.com

Exporters are also obligated to file a Prior Notice before shipping their food or beverages. Advance notice of these shipments allows FDA, with the support of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to target import inspections more effectively and help protect that nation’s food supply against terrorist acts and other public health emergencies. For more information on how to file a Prior Notice go to www.priornotice.com

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) require food product labels on almost all packaged foods include information like nutritional values, ingredients, and calorie counts in readable type. Labeling violations result in more than 22% of all food detentions in the United States. For more information on food labeling go to www.registrarcorp.com/food/label

Another FDA regulation that exhibitors at tradeshows often overlook is the low-acid canned food requirements. The Food and Drug Administration requires a registration for the manufacturing site and submission of process filings (submission identifiers, or an “SID” for each product, each size) for low-acid and acidified canned foods. For more information on how to file an FCE/ SID go to www.fce-sid.com

Exporters frequently use express carriers (DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc), thinking they can avoid complying with many of the FDA food safety regulations. But, in the year 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began its detailed implementation work for the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”). FSMA introduces several new regulations that food manufacturers and exporters need to know.

Follow the above-mentioned compliance tips when you are shipping your food and beverages to the 2012 Natural Products Expo West and your products should arrive without delay.

For questions related to U.S. FDA regulations, please contact Registrar Corp 24/7 at www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp or call us at +1-757-224-0177.