If you are one of the 5000 Australian food facilities registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) you have between 1 October and 31 December 2014 to renew that registration. Failure to renew will result in cancellation of your registration and limit your ability to export foods to the US.
Since 2003 Australian businesses that manufacture/process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to register with the FDA. Registration is part of the FDA taking steps to protect the US public from a threatened or actual terrorist attack on the US food supply. Registration requires the Australian business to nominate a US resident agent that will act as a communications link between the FDA and the business.
Since 2012, renewal of registration has been required every second year. For a registrant where there has been no change in details, an abbreviated renewal process is available. If registration is not renewed by 31 December 2014 the registration will be considered expired and the account removed from the FDA’s system.
What happens if you fail to renew?
It is crucial that your renewal be performed prior to 31 December 2014 as a failure to be registered when required can result in prosecution by US authorities. Further, food that is exported to the US from a facility that is not registered is likely to be held at the US port of entry.
What food is covered?
It is important to remember that on top of what we might ordinarily think of as food, the registration requirement extends to dietary supplements, infant formula, beverages, raw agriculture commodities, live food animals and animal feed and pet food.