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Updated FDA Guidance on Food Facility Registration Due by Dec. 31

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Food and Drug Administration announced Nov. 18 an update to its guidance on the registration of domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack or store food, food ingredients, pet foods or dietary supplements. Such facilities face a Dec. 31 deadline for completing their biannual registrations.

The FDA states that in light of an ongoing rulemaking under the Food Safety Modernization Act that proposes to make certain changes to the definition of the term “farm” in 21 CFR 1.227, the updated guidance includes a new question and answer that explains the FDA’s policy regarding food facility registration for farms that also pack or hold raw agricultural commodities grown on a farm under different ownership and that would no longer be required to register if the proposed amendments to the “farm” definition are finalized. Under this policy the FDA does not intend to prioritize enforcing the registration requirement for such establishments.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said that beginning Jan. 1, 2015, if a foreign food facility required to register with the FDA fails to do so, food from that facility that is being imported or offered for import into the U.S. could be held at the port upon arrival. As a result, import brokers who file prior notices for food shipments are encouraged to contact clients with high-volume food shipments, inquire about the food facility registration renewal status of foreign manufacturing facilities associated with their shipments and confirm any new registration numbers.

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