Your Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility Update


tsawwassen container examination facility

Tidewater Container Services Selected To Operate New Examination Facility

In July of 2018 the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) announced they had selected Tidewater Container Services through Harbour Link to be the operator and drayage provider of the newly built Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) located on the Tsawwassen First Nation Lands.

Tidewater Container Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harbour Link Container Services. Tidewater will be performing the container and cargo handling services for VFPA related to the examination of containerized cargo by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Harbour Link provides container drayage and off-dock container terminal services to all sectors of the container shipping community and currently operates a sufferance terminal in Delta, B.C.

Tidewater will be utilizing approximately 50,000 square feet of the TCEF structure to provide commercial warehousing and transloading services.

TCEF Operational Before 2019?

The TCEF is in its final phase of completion. Once complete the VFPA will apply for an Occupancy Permit from the Tsawwassen First Nation and upon receipt of the permit, Tidewater will begin to outfit the facility to make it operational. TCEF is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

In the November 2017 blog post, The Issues and Solutions of Container Exams at the Port of Vancouver, you learned about the frustrations of the lengthy delays and costs of container exams in Vancouver.

In June of 2018, CBSA provided an update on their website of the Marine Container Examination Process. CBSA reiterated that CBSA is only responsible for the examination of marine containers, but does not control, influence, or charge for the:

  • Movement of containers to and from the CBSA: and
  • Offloading and reloading of containers

CBSA provided the following diagrams:


tsawwassen container examination facility


tsawwassen container examination facility


Tidewater, the facility operator at the TCEF, will generate the fees for presenting the goods for examination, to cover the cost of transportation to and from the examination facility, and for unloading and reloading the container. Tidewater will then bill the shipping line for these costs who will pass the cost to the importer.

Stakeholder Recommendations To Improve Ocean Trade

Recommendations for improvements for Ocean Trade were made at a September 2017 stakeholder conference. The main thread with the recommendations made were to improve the communication between all stakeholders regarding delays, service hours, and service standards.

  • Shipping lines, terminal operators and warehouse operators are required to post standard fees associated with the movement and facilitation of freight through the marine process.
  • Terminal operators need to improve the reservation system for pick up and return of CBSA examined or targeted containers.
  • CBSA needs to provide proof of examination, LSI exam and ventilation timelines to stakeholders.
  • There needs to be a transparent dispute resolution between all stakeholders.
  • Use of technology for real-time status and progress of the exam providing importers and their service providers’ insight to better plan and mitigate impacts of the exam to their business and supply chains.
  • Importers need the flexibility and the option to deliver direct from the exam site.
  • CBSA needs to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and consistencies with their targeting and examination of container freight. A clear focus on the client is necessary which is transparent with defined and measurable service standards.

The hope is, with the opening of the TCEF, all of the above recommendations from the stakeholders meeting will be put into effect. As of now all the trade community can do is wait and see.

Experts You Can Trust

If you need assistance importing into the U.S., importing into Canada, or Freight Forwarding around the world, contact our experts to help get your goods where they need to go.

Jan Brock | Author

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Single Window Initiative Requires Additional Data For Your IID


Single Window Initiative

You have read What Is The Single Window Initiative (SWI) and learned how additional data will be required on Integrated Import Declarations (IID) for Customs release on all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies.

You will now need to include data elements in your IID that may have been previously reported after importation, or in paper format, and will become mandatory in January 2019.

This means you will need to provide more information to your Customs Brokers than you have in the past for all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies (PGA) such as Health Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Is your commodity subject to Participating Government Agencies?

You can find out from our helpful What Does My Commodity Need? infographic.

What Regulated Commodities Will Be Affected By Single Window Initiative?

If your commodity is regulated by a Participating Government Agency you will be impacted by a Integrated Import Declarations. However, for some commodities the details have already been required for many years.

For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires all importers with commodities regulated by the CFIA to provide shipment details prior to entry releases. As a result, for goods regulated by the CFIA, you may not have to provide any additional data to your Customs Broker in order to clear these entries.

Cases where they would need information that they did not before IID’s include consignee contact information as well as requiring copies of documents such as import declarations. In cases where the consignee is different than the importers or manufacturers, you will need to include the consignee contact information in box 12 of your CCI.

All Participating Government Agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, will prompt your Customs Broker to ensure the documentation you provide includes all of the data required for the IID.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has provided a guideline indicating what data is required for each Participating Government Agency which you can check out in the links below. Please note that the information in these links is subject to change and is correct at the time of publishing.

Where Do I Report The Additional Data Elements On My Canada Customs Invoice?

If the products you import into Canada are regulated by any of these Participating Government Agencies, you will be required to add all of the data elements listed in the links above to your commercial or Canada Customs Invoice. Below are a few examples you can follow along to see how you can report the additional data elements.

Example 1: Consumer Product Safety, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for consumer Products regulated by Health Canada. Please note that although many of these elements are noted as optional, and only two as mandatory, you are recommended to include all elements in preparation of when/if the optional elements become mandatory, as well as to help Health Canada make a release decision.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore the information will be included on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Manufacturer Contact Information: The manufacturer’s name, address, contact name, email and telephone will be required in box 12 of the CCI. If this is the same as the vendor, you can add it to box 1 as shown in the example.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document such as a safety standard certification or product label, in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. Your Customs Broker will attach the LPCO as an image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is.
  • Item Specific Information: This information provides the individual details of the imported items which are to be included in box 12 of the CCI which includes:
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): This 14 digit number is used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Unit Size and Unit of Measure
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Sale or distribution, education, resale, charitable, repair, immediate re-exportation.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed in box 12.

Intended use

Product Category

For Sale of Distribution

Consumer product for infants (0-18 months)

Consumer product for infants (19 – 36 months)

Consumer product for infants (3-6 years)

Consumer product for infants (6-8 years)

Consumer product for infants (8-12 years)

Consumer product for infants (13+ years)

Consumer product for infants (all ages)

Consumer chemical

Cosmetic

Educational, resale, charitable, repair or immediate re-exportation

Consumer product (for all ages)


Using the information provided above for consumer products, and applying the example of stuffed toy animals, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Consumer Goods

 

Example 2: Natural Health Products, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for natural health products regulated by Health Canada.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name from the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore your broker will include your information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that Health Canada would like further information about the product. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However, if it is different, place this information in Box 12.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. They will attach it as a image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is. See the table below for more information.
  • Item Specific Information: This provides details of the imported items included in Box 12 of the CCI;
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): A 14 digit number used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name: If there is no brand name available, a product name, active ingredient or chemical name of the commodity must be provided by the manufacturer.
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Human therapeutic use, human clinical trial, special access, research and development, other.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed.

Intended End Use

Documents Required (LPCO)

Human Therapeutic Use

  1. Site License – 5022
  2. Natural Product Authorization 023 or Homeopathic Medicine Drug Identification 5024

Human Clinical Trial

NHP Notice of Authorization (NOA) 5023

Special Access

Letter of Authorization (LOA) 5045

Research and Development

No Documents Required

Other

No Documents Required


Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of green tea extract, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Natural Health Products

Example 3: Vehicles and Engines, Regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for on-road vehicles, engines and equipment regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Transport Canada (TC). Please note there are two Participating Agencies involved in the importation of vehicles and engines.

**To understanding the info required by each PGA the data elements required from ECCC are in blue and Transport Canada are in red. All text appearing in black indicates that both of these agencies require this information.**

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore they will include that information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that ECCC would like further information about the vehicle or engine. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However if it is different, place this information in Box 12.

Exceptional Processing: The Transport Canada status of the of the vehicle/importer will establish all of the additional data elements required and must be provided or identified on the invoice using one of the following options:

  • Appendix F Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Appendix G Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval for New, Canadian-specification vehicle purchased from foreign manufacturer with CMVSS approval letter
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval letter to accompany the documents for
    • New – Canadian-specification vehicles purchased from foreign manufacturer
    • New – Vehicles manufactured to the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and purchased from foreign manufacturer
  •  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards manufactured vehicle requiring inspection by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (Indicated on the invoice)
  • Vehicles greater than 15 years old, except buses
  • Canadian-specification vehicles returning to the original owner
  • Vehicles Imported for parts
  • Non Regulated Vehicles: please visit Transport Canada’s site on no-regulated vehicles for more information

 

  • Make of Vehicle
  • Make of Engine
  • Model of Vehicle
  • Model of Engine
  • Model Year of Vehicle
  • Model Year of Engine
  • Engine Manufacturer Name
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 17 digit number
  • Engine Identification Number
  • Name of Engine Family
  • Chassis Info: If the chassis is manufactured by someone other than the final stage assembler, the following details are required:
    • Manufacturer name and address
    • Make
    • Model
    • Year
  • Vehicle Production: Date, Month & Year
  • ECCC Vehicle Class:  The type of vehicle class must be identified using the options listed in the table below.
  • TC Vehicle Class: The type of vehicle class must be identified using the naming convention listed in the table below.

ECCC Vehicle Class

TC Vehicle Class

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Trucks

Light-Duty Trucks

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

On-Road Motorcycles

On-Road Motorcycles

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles w/inst

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles w/ins

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles w/in

Heavy-Duty Tractors with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Tractors w/installed eng

Incomplete Vehicles

Incomplete Vehicles

 

Vessels with installed marine engine

 

Vessels without marine engines

 

Snowmobiles

 

All-terrain vehicles

 

Utility vehicles

 

Off-road motorcycles

 

Incomplete Vehicles


  • Engine Class: The type of engine class must be identified as either On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Incomplete or On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Loose
  • Vehicle Manufacturer: Name and address
  • Criteria Conformance: Advise that the compliance label is attached or provide a letter from the manufacturer that it is in compliance.
  • Final Stage Assembler: If different than chassis manufacturer or vehicle manufacturer: Name and address
  • TC Affirmation Statement of Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Transport Canada.

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • ECCC Affirmation of Statement Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Environment and Climate Change Canada (additional date and form will be required by Transport Canada).

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • Country of registration (If previously registered)
  • Mileage/Odometer Reading (if used)
  • Title Status (if used)
  • Vehicle Status (if for parts)
  • Vehicle Condition: Normal Damage or Severe Damage (Not Roadworthy)

Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of a Ford F150 Truck, the Customs Invoice will require the the additional data highlighted in this example.

Single Window Initiative - Vehicles

These examples highlight some of the data elements that were not necessarily included on your invoice prior to the Single Window Initiative, but will be mandatory starting April 2019.

You will need to provide all of the required data elements for your Customs Broker to be able to process your shipment release request. Additional charges may be applied to your Customs brokerage services if this information is not provided on the documentation.

When Should I Start Including The Required Data On My IID?

You should begin incorporating this information into your invoices now, then your shipments are not delayed at the border once IIDs become mandatory.

Need help understanding what Participating Government Agency regulates your commodity? You can contact us and speak with an expert Trade Advisor today.

How will you be affected by the Single Window Initiative? Tell us in the comments below.

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U.S. Customs To Pilot Test Blockchain Viability


blockchain

In September 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will start pilot testing the viability of blockchain technology in international trade. One of the first tests will be to see if they can successfully receive Certifications of Origin to identify if a product can qualify for preferential treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain allows for digital information to be shared but not copied. It was originally created for financial transactions however, tech communities are starting to get more creative on what it can be used for. This includes smart contracts, transparent voting for elections, file storage, and in the world of trade, supply chain auditing.

Blockchain acts as a large database spread over a network of many, many computers. By not storing the data in any one location decentralizes the data. By decentralizing the data, it makes it difficult for a “hacker” to corrupt, thus making it a safe way for many people to access the data simultaneously.

Another interesting fact about blockchain is it can be setup to share with the entire public, or only shared with a few selected individuals. This allows for it to be used on massive scales, such as an election, or small scales, such as a one-on-one contract between you and a supplier.

History is another important factor. Blockchain has the ability to collect and maintain all transactions and previous data. In the trade industry this could be vital since records are required to be kept by Customs for multiple years in case of an audit. With a clear history that is accessible at any time, it can make it easier on Customs and the individual or business being audited.

What is Your Commodities Origin?

The goal is to certify the backstories of commodities are genuine. Is your sweater really made in Canada? Is every part from your laptop obtained or produced entirely in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico? Probably not, however with the assistance of blockchain technology and supply chain auditing, the answer could be quick and easy for CBP to discover.

Why This Potentially Helps U.S. Customs?

The reason CBP is excited for the viability of blockchain technology is because it can permanently verify transaction records in a fast and secure way. Being able to work fast and safe is any businesses dream, and CBP wants to start testing the technology in the early stages to make sure they are ready to handle the demand for blockchain technology once more companies adopt the relatively new idea.

How Supply Chain Auditing Can Help You?

It is easy to drown in the science behind blockchain technology, but what matters most to you is blockchain can allow you to do business easier and safer than before. The introduction of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has eliminated the need for faxing, mailing or hand delivering paper documents. By having a safe way to transport the same “paper documents” digitally in only a way where you, the sender, and CBP, the receiver, can access it, than business will become better for you.

If You Need An Expert

With pilot testing to begin in September it will be interesting to see what the findings are from CBP. This might be the first step U.S. Customs takes to adopting blockchain technology and electronic supply chain auditing. For the latest in trade news and expert advice feel free to contact an experienced trade advisor to help you navigate the world of trade.

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7 Reasons to Invest in Trade Compliance Education


PCB helpWith today’s fast paced business climate time is limited and precious. There is always a long list of tasks to accomplish so why would you take valuable time out of your busy schedule to attend a trade compliance education course?

Like any good business person worth his or her salt, let’s examine the Return on Investment (ROI). Obviously the course topic has to have some relevance to your business. Here are some questions a potential attendee may ponder on as they contemplate the decision to attend or not:

  • Is there a way my company can save money?
  • Will it improve a process?
  • Will it provide potential insight to solve a problem?
  • Will it provide valuable knowledge to move a project along?
  • Is the topic one that cannot easily be ignored? (e.g. compliance issues)

What is Trade Compliance?

Trade compliance refers to importers and exporters meeting all of the requirements governing the movement of their commercial goods across the border. To be trade compliant is to ensure that the tariff classification, origin and valuation of goods are all accurately declared in accordance with legislative requirements and that the appropriate duties and taxes are paid. There is a clear obligation under the Customs Act to provide true, accurate and complete trade information including a proper description of the goods, as well as correcting erroneous information regardless of dutiable status. Furthermore, an essential part of trade compliance is to ensure that all import requirements are met such as having the appropriate import permit. Failure to meet all import requirements violates the control measures that are in place to protect the economy, the environment and the health of citizens.

 

The Importance of Trade Compliance:

In recent years, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have shifted much of their emphasis from import inspections to post-audit verifications. The responsibilities put upon Importers of Record (IOR) have steadily increased as all members of the supply chain endure higher scrutiny from customs officials. Now more than ever it is imperative that the IOR maintain a high level of sophistication, demonstrate due diligence, ensure they understand their responsibilities, implement internal sets of controls and procedures for best practices as well as understand the consequences of non-compliance.

International trade no longer stands on the sidelines of corporate awareness. It is being transformed from an operational function into an evolving eco-system that helps mitigate organizational risks and strategically drives value. In order to do business efficiently, smart businesses need to strike a balance between ensuring timely movement of cross-border goods and complying with complex regulatory systems designed to ensure safe, verifiable cross-border transactions. Effective global customs planning can help improve a company’s bottom line.

 

Benefits of Attending a Trade Compliance Course:

1. Gain Insight on Key Trade Topics

A well designed course will help you gain a better understanding of key trade topics, teach you how to manage trade compliance and utilize free trade agreements to your benefit. The substantial knowledge you receive will aid in completing accurate documentation, understanding logistics and getting a feel for how transactions move through the regulatory process.

2. Stay Current on Customs Regulations

In our industry, where we deal with customs and other government agencies, regulations are ever-changing. A trade compliance course can be a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade.

3. Avoid Possible Penalties and Risks By Being Informed

Customs agencies and other government departments emphasize the importance of compliance. This is monitored through increased enforcement and could result in monetary penalties to the importer. One of the most important reasons to attend a course is the knowledge and guidance you will receive from the presenters with regards to the steps your organization will need to take to become more compliant with government agencies.

4. Cost-effective Training and Knowledge Refreshment Tool for Logistics Professionals

Courses make for excellent training for someone in a new role, a new employee, or training for yourself. Quite often we have repeat attendees who regularly register on an annual or bi-annual basis. Part of our Trade Compliance Education Program covers general overviews of importing or exporting, but we also offer training on specific subjects (e.g. North American Free Trade Agreement, H.S. Tariff Classification, Customs Valuation, etc.), thus providing an excellent opportunity for companies to utilize them as a cost-effective training tool.

5. Access to Trade Compliance Experts

A well designed course should include adequate time for audience participation or a valid opportunity at the conclusion to get answers to your questions. A live seminar gives you the chance to personally speak to the presenter(s) or other subject matter experts. We all agree that sometimes the best experiences occur when there are excellent inquiries that promote further ideas and discussion, particularly when you thought you were the only one with that challenge.

6. Reasonable Time Commitment

The ability to obtain some specific knowledge in a short period of time is an added benefit. Night school courses are requisite for more in-depth subject learning but often you need something that is less intensive but still provides substantial knowledge.  Half or full-day seminars or on-demand videos are an excellent way to get a quick update.

7. Networking – Make Valuable Professional Connections

A live course allows you to network and learn alongside other like-minded professionals, coming away with increased knowledge and understanding. Perhaps you will encounter a person who had a similar business problem to yours, or people who can share their own experience on a certain issue and provide you with valuable insight.

Here is a quote from an attendee at one of our recent Trade Compliance Seminars  “… it’s always interesting to have an informal conversation with compliance people from other industries,” which brings up another great point – where else would you have a chance to rub shoulders with people of similar business interests?

Hopefully this has inspired you to take the next step in your trade compliance education. Check out our 2018/2019 Trade Compliance Education Courses online today!

We hope you’ll join us and encourage you to share this with colleagues and business partners who might find it useful.

Do you have questions about our trade compliance education program? Leave us a comment in the section below!

 
 

FDA Food Facility Registration Renewal Opens October 1st 2018


 

About the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) program:

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) improves the registration process by ensuring, among other things, that the FDA has accurate contact information for each facility. The new registration form also includes new categories of foods. These new categories will help FDA rapidly communicate with the right facilities in the event of an emergency.

Food producers and manufacturers have long been required to register with the Food and Drug Administration. Facilities can register online, via mail or fax. If your company is not domestic (not located within the U.S.) you will be required to assign a U.S. agent in your registration. See below for more information on assigning a U.S. agent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued further information and guidance regarding registration requirements for domestic and foreign manufacturers, processors, packers or holders of food for human or animal consumption based on changes made by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

Biennial registration renewal for food facilities begins at 12:01 AM on October 1, 2018. The updated food facility registration system is accepting food facility registration renewals.

Who must register?

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA), all domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, pack or store food, food ingredients, pet foods or dietary supplements are required to renew their registration with the FDA before the end of 2018 and to re-register every two years thereafter. This represents a change from the previous registration requirement for food facilities. The re-registration form contains new food categories, and requires more detailed and updated contact information.

How to re-register a domestic company?

To submit a registration renewal to FDA, a food facility is required to submit required registration information to FDA, including the additional registration information.

If you are affected by the new regulations, you may re-register your food facility online.

How to re-register if not a domestic company?

Pacific Customs Brokers offers the following services:

  • Act as your U.S. Agent
  • Assist with FSMA re-registration
  • Answer your queries regarding FDA requirements

Contact Pacific Customs Brokers for assistance with food facility registrations or the FSMA. To stay current on this topic, you may also want to subscribe to Pacific Customs Brokers trade updates.

Do you have questions on the FDA food facility re-registration? Share them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker today.