Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Update
Today, the benefit year begins for participants in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
VQIP is a voluntary fee-based program that provides importers who achieve and maintain control over the safety and security of their supply chains, expedited review and importation of human and animal foods into the United States.
As a VQIP participant, you are able to import certain food products into the United States with quicker, easier entry, limited examination and sampling, FDA sampling at preferred location, and faster lab results with the assistance of the VQIP Importers Help Desk.
To participate in VQIP, food importers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including ensuring that the facilities of their foreign suppliers are certified through the FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program. If you are an importer interested in participating, apply using the VQIP application portal. The portal will reopen on January 1, 2022 and remain open through May 31, 2022.
To see a current list of VQIP participants, visit: Public List of Approved VQIP Importers
The following resources provide more in-depth information about the VQIP program and process:
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program
- Submission of VQIP Application User Guide
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) Informational Webinar Recording
- Public Registry of Accredited Third-Party Certification Bodies
VQIP supports the FDA Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food by incentivizing importers to use certified suppliers and maintain robust processes and procedures to help ensure imported food is meeting U.S. food safety requirements.
Those interested should submit questions to the VQIP Importers Help Desk by email FSMAVQIP@fda.hhs.gov or by phone 301-796-8745.