FDA has published a draft guidance on a new voluntary fee-based program for expedited review and importation of foods into the US from importers with a proven food safety record.

Known as the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), FDA says it will be a benefit to both industry and consumers.

Under the new program, FDA says those importers with a strong system of supply-chain management will receive expedited entry for imported foods in the program.

“Consumer protections are strengthened by enabling the FDA to focus its resources on food imports that are more likely to present a potential risk to public health,” FDA says.

Since FSMA was signed into law in 2011, it provides FDA with the authority to ensure foods imported to the US meet the same safety standards as domestically produced foods.

The draft guidance describes the eligibility criteria for, and benefits of, participation in VQIP.

 View the draft guidance here