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FDA Updates Regulations on Prior Notice of Food Imports

Friday, March 31, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Effective March 30, the Food and Drug Administration is amending its regulations on prior notice of imported food to reflect the expanded capabilities of the Automated Commercial Environment and to make other ministerial and editorial changes.

Persons importing articles of food or offering articles of food for import into the U.S. must submit certain information about those foods before their arrival in the U.S. FDA regulations currently require prior notice for refused articles to be submitted through the FDA’s Prior Notice System Interface, do not allow the tracking number to be submitted in lieu of other certain information if the prior notice is submitted via the Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System, and do not allow the tracking number for articles of food arriving by express consignment operator or carrier to be submitted if either the operator or carrier is the submitter or transmitter and the prior notice is submitted via PNSI.

The FDA is removing these limitations because ACE is now able to accommodate such transactions. The FDA notes that with the tracking number it can learn the information it needs to make entry determinations, such as port, date and time of arrival, airway bill, bill of lading, and vessel name and voyage or flight number. In addition, allowing the transmitter or submitter to be the operator or carrier provides greater flexibility to industry. The FDA states that these changes will allow it to more efficiently process import entry submissions and more quickly make initial import entry determinations without impairing its ability to adequately screen imported food.

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