25 July 2019
FDA Announces New User Fees to Fund Accreditation of Third-Party Food Safety Auditors, Expedited Import Programme
The Food and Drug Administration has announced certain fiscal year 2020 user fees associated with the third-party certification programme as well as the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program authorised by the Food Safety Modernization Act. The new third-party certification programme fees reflect an increase from the previous fiscal year, as detailed below.
Third-Party Certification Programme
- initial application fee for accreditation bodies seeking recognition: US$41,328 (up from US$38,211)
- annual fee for recognised accreditation bodies: US$1,945 (up from US$1,775)
- annual fee for certification bodies accredited by a recognised accreditation body: US$2,432 (up from US$2,219)
- initial application fee for certification body seeking direct accreditation from FDA: US$41,328 (up from US$38,211)
Voluntary Qualified Importer Program
- VQIP user fee: US$16,681
Under FSMA, third-party certification bodies (auditors) are accredited to conduct food safety audits of foreign food entities and certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such facilities meet applicable FDA food safety requirements. These audits and certifications will be used by importers seeking to establish eligibility for the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program and may also be required by the FDA as a condition of granting admission into the United States when certain food safety risks have been identified.
The FDA states that an accreditation body’s recognition will be suspended if the annual user fee is not submitted within 30 days of the due date and revoked if the fee is not submitted within 90 days. Similarly, a certification body’s accreditation will be suspended if the annual user fee is not paid within 30 days of the due date and withdrawn if the fee is not paid within 90 days.
The VQIP is a voluntary, fee-based programme that provides for the expedited review and importation of food offered for importation by importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains and have voluntarily agreed to participate in such programme.