13 April 2017
Importer ID Requirement in Food Safety Programme Can be Met by DUNS Number
The Food and Drug Administration has formally recognised the Data Universal Numbering System number as an acceptable unique facility identifier under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. The DUNS number is available to importers free of charge and may generally be obtained within a few business days.
The FSVP final rule requires importers of food for humans or animals, with some exceptions, to verify that (i) their foreign suppliers use processes and procedures that provide the same level of public health protection as the U.S. preventive controls and produce safety regulations, where applicable; and (ii) the food they import is not adulterated and not misbranded with respect to food allergen labelling. Among other things, this rule requires FSVP importers to provide their legal business name, email address and a unique facility identifier recognised as acceptable by the FDA for each line entry of food product offered for importation into the United States. Compliance with this rule will be phased in, starting on 30 May for FSVP importers whose foreign supplier is not subject to the FDA’s preventive controls or produce safety rules.
The FDA is now recognising the DUNS number as an acceptable UFI for purposes of FSVP compliance. There appear to be no other UFIs so designated at present. The FDA states that importers who anticipate being unable to provide a DUNS number to identify themselves as the FSVP importer of a food product at entry should contact the FDA’s Division of Import Operations prior to offering that product for import.