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Does the VQIP program reduce customs inspections?

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:02 PM

My company imports lots of ingredients from outside the US for further processing by our customers.  Customs (not the FDA) has been "inspecting" our shipments at what appears to us to be a rather high level.  Inspection involves rendering the product no longer usable.  They break seals, puncture containers, cut open bags, etc.  I understand that this has to happen from time to time as part of product inspections, but we import from 50+ different companies around the globe and the bulk of the customs sampling appears to be restricted to two south american companies. 


Any advice?  Customs is not responsive to inquiry.  The costs are adding up and they are significant.  In addition to the costs, there's the lost product that was promised to customers that they can no longer get as the customs folks ripped the bag in half and spilled the product everywhere after sifting through it with unsanitary probes. 


Sooo, Is the VQIP program worth looking into?  I know it will theoretically minimize FDA sampling, but will it do anything about customs? 





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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:55 PM

You didn't mention the imported product type nor the countries, however I would most certainly take a very close look at the voluntary qualified importer program. You may find that the FDA would be more responsive to your inquiry (that you are currently fielding to customs) as to how participation in the program will cut down on customs damaging and contaminating your imports.

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Glenn Oster
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