Exporting Kosher Food and Drink to the USA: Rules are Changing

21 January 2013

North America, one of the largest markets for food and drink manufacturers from the UK, and other countries, and a very important one for kosher certified products, is changing its rules regarding food imports.

UK companies exporting food and drink products to the USA (for consumption/sampling) need to re-register with the US Government (USA FDA) by 31 Jan 2013 after it overhauled its licensing rules.

This new regulatory requirement stems from the recently-passed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in January 2011. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for its implementation and thus its regulatory development. The registration requirement is a new biennial requirement (i.e. every two years) whereby every manufacturer or distributor of food that exports to the USA must register with the FDA. The requirement is global and non-discriminatory and thus not confined to UK-USA businesses.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that every foreign and domestic food company must sign up again by 31 January 2013 otherwise they will temporarily lose access to the US market. The FDA will then require this re-registration every two years – with the next registration required in 2014.

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