FDA is extending the application period for importers to submit their notice of intent to participate and their completed application for the Fiscal Year 2020 benefits period of the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP). The application portal will remain open until July 31, 2019, after which it will close to allow time for the agency to review applications before the start of the annual benefits period that will begin on Oct. 1, 2019.
VQIP is a voluntary fee-based program established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that provides expedited review and importation of human and animal foods into the U.S. for approved applicants who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.
To participate, importers must meet certain eligibility requirements, which include ensuring that the facilities of their foreign supplier are certified by a certification body that has been accredited through the FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program (TPP).
As of May 1, 2019, four third-party certification bodies have received accreditation. All certification bodies that are accredited under TPP will be listed on the public registry available on FDA.gov.
Importers interested in participating can access some resources for assistance:
- Public Registry of Accredited Third-Party Certification Bodies;
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) Informational Webinar Recording;
- Submission of VQIP Application User Guide; and
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program. (NOTE: This webpage now includes translations of the VQIP guidance in French, Traditional Chinese, and Spanish. A fact sheet with information about VQIP is also now available in Hindi, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.)
Importers can submit questions about the program to the VQIP Importer’s Help Desk via phone at 1-301-796-8745 or email at FSMAVQIP@fda.hhs.gov.