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FSVP - when you are not an importer, but customer requests


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#1 ncwingnut

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 06:47 PM

Question:

 

We were sent this form by a customer to complete today.  We do not import - we use brokers and ensure that they have all the records in place for the manufacturers that they import the products of - 3rd party audits, etc.

 

What would your response be to the following requested signed statement from a customer??

 

We are requesting that you complete the statement below and return it to us on your company letterhead.  We would appreciate your response in a timely manner.

 

This letter will confirm that under the provisions of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) [21 CFR Part 1, Subpart L], _________________________ (name of supplier) will be identified as the FSVP “importer” for all ingredients and food products that we import into the United States.  As such, we will manage any requirements that fall on the “importer” under the FSVP regulation.  This will include any and all ingredients and food products that we subsequently sell to BlahBlah, Ltd.

 

 

 

Again, we do not import.  Has anyone else had a customer request this?  The opening paragraph of this requests states that they do not want to be identified of the importer for any ingredient that we supply to them.

 

Any help is appreciated - thank you in advance!


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#2 Scampi

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 07:27 PM

So you are not importing? Even using a broker, it's you importing your ingredients right?


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#3 Jloncar

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:11 PM

I was looking over the FSVP article in the featured section and ran across a section that might be helpful in determining if you are the importer. 

 

"The definition of an “Importer” is specific to the FSVP regulation (21 CFR 1.500), and is not necessarily the same as the Importer of Record for Customs requirements. The first phrase of the definition says that the importer is the USA based owner or consignee. This highlights the key difference. For the FSVP, the “importer” must be based in the USA. Note that the terms “U.S. owner or consignee” are also defined in the rule as “the person in the United States who, at the time of entry into the USA, either owns the food, has purchased the food, or has agreed in writing to purchase the food.” The FSVP importer has to be identified on the filing documents at the point of entry of the goods into the USA once the FSVP rule is in effect."

 

So they way that I read that is if you are using brokers but have agreed in writing to purchase the food before it has been imported that that would in fact make you the importer. Just my 2 cents.


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#4 ncwingnut

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:46 PM

 We purchase from brokers who source it, but not soley for us.  I would have to find out if we have a written agreement.  I don't believe we do, because, like I said, its not solely for us.  We purchase from who we have previously approved.

 

The big problem here is getting brokers (at times) to ensure all the documentation from the manufacturer is current and that they even have it.  Some look at me and say "Whats FSMA??".  I can see this is going to be a large undertaking, and thankfully, most everything we get is from the US.

 

Your response was very helpful Jloncar!  Thank you so much!!


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#5 ncwingnut

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:47 PM

And since I can't edit my response....that should be who we have approved and we also have 3 to 4 vendors at a time we purchase from.  It just depends on who has it in stock or can get it the fastest.  


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#6 scoot915

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 08:22 PM

I was looking over the FSVP article in the featured section and ran across a section that might be helpful in determining if you are the importer. 

 

"The definition of an “Importer” is specific to the FSVP regulation (21 CFR 1.500), and is not necessarily the same as the Importer of Record for Customs requirements. The first phrase of the definition says that the importer is the USA based owner or consignee. This highlights the key difference. For the FSVP, the “importer” must be based in the USA. Note that the terms “U.S. owner or consignee” are also defined in the rule as “the person in the United States who, at the time of entry into the USA, either owns the food, has purchased the food, or has agreed in writing to purchase the food.” The FSVP importer has to be identified on the filing documents at the point of entry of the goods into the USA once the FSVP rule is in effect."

 

So they way that I read that is if you are using brokers but have agreed in writing to purchase the food before it has been imported that that would in fact make you the importer. Just my 2 cents.

 

I think I am in the same situation as ncwingnut.

 

 

We are a US manufacturer and purchase some ingredients imported from outside the US from a broker/supplier in the US.

The supplier/broker does not purchase the ingredients solely for us.

 

If I am understanding correctly the broker/supplier is the one who either owns or purchased the food at the time it enters the US

We do not have a written agreement to purchase the food before it has been imported.

 

I think this means we are not the importer and therefore FSVP would not apply????

Please correct me if I am wrong.

 

For my food safety plan I have supplier approval for most of the ingredients and a general letter of guarantee from the suppler we purchase from.

 

Thanks in advance for any help with this.


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#7 SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

Does the brokers (or brokers) actually receive the ingredients themselves and then ship to you?

 

If so, you are not the importer.

 

If not, you are the importer.


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#8 scoot915

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:16 PM

Broker receives the ingredients and delivers to us.  So not a importer and FSVP does not apply correct?

 

Going back to ncwingnut's question regarding the customer request, we also received a similar acknowledgement letter from a customer.

The letter is the reason I was confused as to if I was a importer or not.

 

The letter first states acknowledgement that we serve as the FSVP Importer (if we are not the importer this does not apply ).

Then the letter adds:

If FSVP is not applicable to you or if you are exempt from the requirements of the FSVP given the nature of the food you hereby certify that all such Food is (check all that apply)  A.  Fish  B. Juice  C.  Alcoholic beverages D. Meat  E. Not subject to the requirements of the FSVP because it is from domestic food manufacturer(s).

 

From the way the letter is written, it seems to me if I sign the letter without checking one of the reasons my food is exempt I would be acknowledging we are the FSPV importer, which is not the case.

Yet my food is not exempt for any of the reasons. Only "E" would apply to my facility but as some of the ingredients are not from domestic food manufacturers I do not think I should check this box.

 

I don't know if I am overthinking this or more likely not understanding.

 

It is probably best if I contact the customer to be clear but if I am just not understanding, I was hoping someone could help.

 

Thanks


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#9 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:35 PM

Does the brokers (or brokers) actually receive the ingredients themselves and then ship to you?

 

If so, you are not the importer.

 

If not, you are the importer.

Ditto. If they are warehoused somewhere and they just wholesale them to different companies, they're importing the food. If it is brought into this country and you are the one introducing it to commerce, you're the importer for the purposes of the rule.

 

I'd love to see an IFSQN poll, "do brokers have any clue as to what the requirements are for selling food in the US?" Or alternatively "how much do brokers suck? []a lot  []a little []some are okay...."  :shades:


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For discussions related to food safety, production, and agriculture. Check out my blog at http://furfarmandfork.com/.

 


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#10 scoot915

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:04 PM

That would be a very interesting survey :gleam: lol


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#11 Cravin'Cajun?

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:32 PM

Scoot915:

 

I got that exact letter from a customer of ours, and I had to call them to clarify that we are not the "importer of record" for anything, but our products did not fall into one of the 5 categories they listed.  I was told to circle option "E" and then provide a letter clarifying why we were exempt from the FSVP regulations.

 

Hope this helps.


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#12 scoot915

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:52 PM

Thanks.... I was starting to think  I was misunderstanding everything about FSVP lol


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