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Welcome to the Practical Guide for Importing Agri-Food Products into the United States!

In an increasingly globalized world, the trade of agri-food products plays a fundamental role in meeting the nutritional and gastronomic needs of people worldwide. However, to ensure the safety and quality of these products, it is essential to comply with the regulations and standards established by the relevant authorities.

In this practical guide, we will address the key aspects that importers of agri-food products must consider when operating in the U.S. market, in compliance with the pertinent laws and regulations. From registering establishments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to food and beverage labeling, including regulations on additives and allergenic substances, we will explore the fundamental requirements affecting the importation of agri-food products into the United States.

The Cheese Market in the United States.

If you want to get a strategic first look at the cheese market in the United States, this document is a must-read. The cheese market in the United States is vast and diversified, encompassing a wide range of varieties, from artisanal and gourmet cheeses to processed and mass-consumed ones. Cheese consumption has shown an upward trend, driven by the growing demand for dairy products and interest in international cuisine. Additionally, the country’s cultural diversity has led to the popularization of different types of cheeses from around the world, making it a dynamic and constantly evolving market.

Establishment Registration with the FDA.

You will learn the necessary steps to correctly register establishments that produce or store agri-food products intended for the U.S. market. FDA registration is a fundamental requirement for any company wishing to export food to the United States. This process includes providing detailed information about the facilities and complying with the FDA’s food safety standards. Additionally, registrations must be renewed every two years to maintain validity.

Compliance with the Bioterrorism Act and FSMA.

We will explore the key provisions of the Bioterrorism Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and how they affect the importation of agri-food products into the United States. The Bioterrorism Act focuses on protecting the food supply from threats and acts of terrorism, while the FSMA aims to improve food safety through a preventive approach. Importers must ensure that their products comply with the provisions of both laws to avoid penalties and ensure consumer safety.

Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).

You will discover how to implement an effective foreign supplier verification program to ensure the safety of imported foods. The FSVP requires importers to verify that their foreign suppliers are producing food safely and complying with U.S. food safety standards. This includes conducting risk assessments, reviewing suppliers’ food safety records, and taking corrective actions when necessary.

Food Traceability Standards.

We will analyze the requirements for food traceability and how to comply with them to facilitate the rapid identification and withdrawal of products in case of food safety issues. Traceability is essential for efficiently managing product recalls and minimizing consumer impact. Importers must implement systems that allow them to track the movement of products throughout the supply chain.

Food and Beverage Labeling Requirements.

You will learn about federal regulations on food and beverage labeling in the United States, including mandatory information, nutritional declarations, and allergens. Labels must provide clear and accurate information about the product’s content, ingredients, nutritional value, and allergen presence. Complying with these requirements is crucial for adequately informing consumers and avoiding regulatory penalties.

Regulation of Direct Food Additives.

We will examine regulations on the use of direct food additives and how to ensure compliance with established standards. Direct additives are those intentionally added to food to fulfill a technological function, such as preservatives, colorants, or flavorings. The FDA maintains a list of permitted additives and sets limits on their use to ensure consumer safety.

Importing Foods with Allergenic Substances.

You will understand the specific requirements for importing foods containing allergenic substances and how to ensure their proper labeling. The FDA requires that food labels clearly identify the presence of the most common allergens, such as peanuts, soy, gluten, and shellfish. This is crucial to protect consumers with food allergies and avoid potential adverse reactions.

This practical guide is designed to provide you with clear and concise information on the key aspects affecting the importation of agri-food products into the United States. We hope it will be useful in your journey towards regulatory compliance and success in the U.S. market!