3 Keys to FSVP Compliance

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Jennifer Kinion
Contributing Writer

Under the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requires U.S. companies importing food to follow certain practices. The purpose of the rule is to prevent food safety issues using tactics like effective supplier verification strategies, hazard analysis, and ongoing vendor management practices. FSVP compliance deadlines have already passed, but many companies still have questions about how they can boost their compliance efforts. Here are the top three steps to help you prepare.

1) Determine If You’re Responsible

Some food processors and manufacturers may still be unsure about whether or not they are affected by FSVP compliance. One common question, for instance, is whether a U.S. company with a manufacturing facility in Mexico or Canada would be subject to the rule. One of the simplest ways to determine whether your facility would be subject to FSVP is to ask yourself whether your materials or ingredients pass through customs.

2) Refine Your Vendor Management Strategy

Companies under FSVP must be able to identify known or reasonably foreseeable hazards from each imported food and supplier. The company should therefore perform a risk analysis to assess potential hazards, form strategies for managing those risks appropriately, and then perform corrective actions as needed. Additionally, importers should refine their supplier management practices in the following key areas:

  • Supplier Communication

Maintaining strong lines of communication with vendors is essential. Using supplier compliance and management software, importers can streamline communication, collaboration, and adoption through features like online supplier portals. 

  • Monitoring Trends

Importers must be take a proactive approach to supplier performance monitoring. Ongoing visibility into supplier recalls and risks must be achieved to help companies make data-driven business decisions and to promote compliance. Software can be leveraged to provide insights and analyses of supplier performance.

3) Revamp Your Documentation Practices

Lastly, the FDA can request records from any component of your FSVP plan, which will need to be provided within 24 hours. Importing companies can therefore leverage the power of digital record keeping to help them achieve FSVP compliance.


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