FDA's Draft Food Safety Rules

FDA's draft Food Safety rules

The American FSMA is due for implementation over the next few years. MPI has work underway to establish the possible implications of the seven new rules that apply to exports. Three new rules will affect produce exporters. These are

  • The Preventive Controls for Human Food,
  • Standards for Produce Safety,  and,
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals.

The rules do not specifically target New Zealand exporters but place the onus on importers into the USA to ensure imported food is compliant. Consequently it is likely that importers of New Zealand produce could increase their demands for verification and documentation.

In 2012 however New Zealand signed a Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement (FSSRA) across all food groups. This agreement recognises that both countries systems are of a high standard and the agreement will continue until there is some substantive change to systems in either country. It is hoped this will minimise inspection requirements for produce entry to the USA but at this stage is not a given. Canada has recently signed a similar agreement and discussions are underway between the USA and Australia. It is thought this will increase the chances that the recognition will have practical advantages for our exporters.

In the meantime the Market Access team are monitoring activity in this space and have released an excellent summary of the Acts requirements and implementation dates for each rule. If you would like a copy please contact info@pmac.co.nz