The FDA opened the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) application portal on Jan. 1, 2020, for the benefit period between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. 

VQIP provides expedited review and importation of human foods into the U.S. for participating importers that achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains. The portal will remain open until May 31, 2020. 

Among the VQIP eligibility requirements, importers must ensure that the foreign suppliers are certified through the FDA-accredited third-party certification program. Qualified importers may submit their notice of intent to participate and their completed VQIP applications via the FDA industry systems website. 

This is the second year for the voluntary fee-based program established by FSMA. VQIP supports the FDA strategy for the safety of imported food by incentivizing importers to use certified suppliers and robust processes and procedures to help ensure imported food is meeting U.S. food safety requirements. For more information, visit