British companies exporting food and drink to the United States need to quickly re-register with the US Government after it overhauled its rules.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that every foreign and domestic food company must sign up again by 31 January otherwise they will temporarily lose access to the US market.
The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into US law on 4 January 2011 and represents the largest overhaul of U.S. food regulations in over 70 years. FSMA requires biennial renewal of both foreign and domestic food facility registrations on each even-numbered year. Beginning in 2012, even if a facility has previously registered with the FDA, it will need to re-register every two years within the registration period, normally 1 October to 31 December. However, this year, the online registration system was delayed until 22 October so the FDA extended the registration period to a revised deadline of 31 January 2013.
Other regulations and guidance that are relevant to importers are still under development