Posts Tagged ‘export’


 

Foreign Supplier Verification Program Frequently Asked Questions

FSVP Produce


What is the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)?

FSVP is a program set in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This requires U.S. buyers to make sure they are importing from foreign producers that are manufacturing under the same standards as domestically made foods. It consists of various information retained by the U.S. importer such as hazard analysis of the producers, controls, monitors programs, and specific record keeping requirements.

What is the FSVP compliance date for importers subject to the Produce Rule?

All Importers whose large foreign suppliers are required to be compliant with the Produce Rule will also be required to be compliant with FSVP on July 26th, 2018.

Who is subject to the Produce Rule?

Growers and Manufacturers of vegetables and fruits that are normally consumed raw and that are fresh or minimally processes, such as cut and washed, are subject to the produce rule, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and blueberries. This does not include frozen fruit or vegetables or items that need to undergo further processing (such as a process to minimize contamination or cooking). This would include squash, coffee beans, and navy beans.

What new information must I include on my invoices?

For your Customs Broker to clear your entry with the FDA, they will now need to know who the FSVP Importer is, the FSVP importer’s DUNS number, and the FSVP importers IRS number. Without this information, the entry will be held.

Who is the FSVP Importer?

The FSVP Importer must be a U.S. Company. When items have been sold this is usually the U.S. buyer of the goods. If there is not buyer, then it is the receiver of the goods in the U.S. If there is no final receiver, such as items going to a fulfillment facility, you can have a U.S. FSVP Agent indicated on the documents, who agrees to take on the responsibilities of the FSVP Importer.

How does this affect Foreign suppliers?

Although the FSVP Importer is technically the U.S. company, there is a large amount of information that the FSVP Importer is required to have on file and verified regarding your manufacturing facility. These can range from lab results, your food safety plans, and other information. If you do not have these available, but they are a requirement for the U.S. company to buy your goods and bring them into the state, they may move on to purchasing from someone who has provided them the required information.

Also, as the foreign supplier, if you are the Importer of Record as well, you will need to make sure you speak with your buyers to confirm with them that they are aware of the FSVP rule, are working to be in accordance with it before July 26th, and that they have provided you their DUNS number and email address.

What does the FDA consider a Large Foreign Supplier?

FDA considered a large facility a facility that is neither a small or very small supplier. This would be a business (including any subsidiaries and affiliates) employing 500 full-time equivalent employees or more.

FDA also lists the definition of full-time equivalent as: “a term used to represent the number of employees of a business entity for the purpose of determining whether the business qualifies for the small business exemption. The number of full-time equivalent employees is determined by dividing the total number of hours of salary or wages paid directly to employees of the business entity and of all of its affiliates and subsidiaries by the number of hours of work in 1 year, 2,080 hours (i.e., 40 hours × 52 weeks). If the result is not a whole number, round down to the next lowest whole number.”

Where can I ask more questions regarding the Foreign Supplier Verification Program?

You can call us anytime to find out more information on importing produce into the U.S. and all the subsequent regulations and governing authorities such as the FDA.

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The Danger in Altering Phytosanitary Certificates

Phytosanitary CertificateIt has come to the attention of the customs brokerage community that there has been an increased occurrence of alterations being made to Phytosanitary Certificates by persons unknown. Specifically, these alterations are in the form of invalid “Shipper’s Original” stamps being affixed to the certificates. As outlined below, modifying documents in this manner is a very serious offense with staggering repercussions.

What is a Phytosanitary Certificate?

A Phytosanitary Certificate is a legal document issued by the National Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country. It certifies that the indicated commodity is free of pests and meets the regulations of the importing country. The Phytosanitary Certificates that are currently being altered are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for product entering Canada.

What does ‘Shipper’s Original’ mean?

This is a statement that appears on the bottom of the Phytosanitary Certificate in the form of a pre-printed stamp. There are several variations of the certificate depending on whether it has been pre-printed and filled out by hand or computer generated. Regardless, the words “Shipper’s Original” will appear in either red or black ink on the bottom right-hand corner and may show “Part 1 – Shipper’s Original” versus simply stating “Shipper’s Original”.

Acts that Constitute Alterations

Altering a document includes, but is not limited to:

  • Changing information on the document
  • Attaching a PARS sticker to the document
  • Writing over top of the printing to clarify quantities or other information
  • Cutting out portions of one Phytosanitary and attaching them to another

Suspected Cause for Modified Documents

Due to the unfortunate placement of the “Shipper’s Original” statement, it is relatively easy for the stamp to get cut off on a scan or a fax. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will reject the certificate if the “Shipper’s Original” is not visible on the documentation that they receive by fax. We believe that this has led to the unauthorized cutting and pasting of this statement from one Phytosanitary Certificate to another.

While it may be viewed as a way to expedite the import process, intentionally modifying a Phytosanitary Certificate in any way is forgery of a legal document. Original copies of each Phytosanitary Certificate are forwarded to the regional CFIA office by which the goods were released. CFIA and USDA can, and do, conduct internal and external audits of the Phytosanitary process and match original copies to the copies faxed to CFIA at the time of importation. In instances where forgery has been discovered, harsh penalties will be assessed against importers, exporters and/or carriers, depending on who is conducting the investigation.

Repercussions for Modifying Phytosanitary Certificates

It cannot be stressed enough that alterations of any kind to legal documents are forbidden and the repercussions for committing these forgeries are severe. The fine print on the Phytosanitary certificate issues the following warning:

Warning: Any alteration, forgery, or unauthorized use of this phytosanitary certificate is subject to civil penalties of up to $250,000 (7 U.S.C. Section 7734(b)) or punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both (18 U.S.C Section 1001).

These penalties will be assessed in addition to Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties issued by Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

In summary, Phytosanitary Certificates are legal documents that are issued by government agencies and it is a criminal offense punishable by law to alter these documents in any way.

For more information on export certification please visit CFIA’s website: Phytosanitary Certificates

 

Have questions about Phytosanitary Certificates? Leave them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.

Pacific Customs Brokers Launches ‘Your Broker Knows’ YouTube Channel

Your Broker Knows - YouTube Channel

 

With the shifting tides of how information is consumed these days, preferences are moving over from text and audio to video. More people are using video to find information and educate themselves on products and services in the marketplace. This has not only created a hearty appetite for video content but also made video the perfect medium for us to communicate with our audience.

With this in mind, our team at Pacific Customs Brokers has been hard at work creating videos on a variety of topics for a range of audiences. We are excited to announce the launch of our very own YouTube channel – Your Broker Knows…, which is now online and ready to view here:

 

Visit the YouTube Channel: Your Broker Knows …

 

What sort of videos should you expect on our channel?

This channel is intended to be a resource for the import and export trade community. Featuring advice from leading industry experts, we aim to guide you through the fast-paced world of international trade and bring you insight into key issues affecting Customs regulations, cross-border trade, shipping and logistics.

Our videos will include:

  • Interviews with industry experts
  • ‘How-to’ tutorials
  • Tips on international import and export
  • Answers to our audience’s most common trade questions
  • Archives and/or previews of the webinars and seminars we host
  • Recordings of our celebratory client events
  • Introduction to new services

Reasons to subscribe:

We will be uploading videos regularly so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive alerts and notifications of future video uploads, as well as:

  1. Stay in the know about international trade news and global free trade agreements.
  2. Learn something – This channel will be a great resource on Customs compliance, shipping, importing and exporting into Canada and the U.S., NAFTA and much more.
  3. Get updates on the latest Customs regulations and cross-border issues.
  4. Interact, share ideas, provide feedback and make connections. This will also help us gather feedback and stay on the right track.
  5. Share what you learn – It is important for us all to exchange and share what we learn.
  6. Learn more about our services – Receive updates on our service offerings.
  7. Just because you like us – Show your support for our company.

 

As we continue to expand our video playlist, please do not hesitate to let us know of ways we can improve the channel and our video content. We value your feedback, so please comment on the YouTube channel and share the videos with business partners and friends. Do check back often, as we should have some exciting new videos planned for the rest of the year.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video must be worth a million. Happy viewing!

 

Have you visited our YouTube channel – Your Broker Knows… yet? What do you think of our new channel? Share your comments with us below or email  Ask Your Broker.