U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking a proactive step in bolstering food safety by announcing the user fee rates for two vital programs in fiscal year (FY) 2024; the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) and Accredited Third-Party Certification Program (TPP).

Under the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), these user fees support the FDA’s administration of programs aimed at ensuring the safety and security of imported food products.

The Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) is a fee-based initiative that facilitates the expedited review and importation of foods from importers who demonstrate a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.

In return, participants in the program enjoy streamlined review processes and enhanced efficiency. The FY 2024 VQIP user fee rate, effective from August 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024, is set at U.S$14,975.

It is important to note that there will be no adjusted fee for small businesses in this fiscal year. To take advantage of program benefits for FY 2024, approved VQIP applicants must submit their user fees before October 1, 2023.

On the other hand, the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program (TPP) is a voluntary endeavor that recognizes accreditation bodies capable of accrediting third-party certification bodies.

Accredited certification bodies are then empowered to conduct food safety audits and issue certifications for foreign food facilities.

For accreditation bodies seeking recognition, the initial application fee is set at U.S$45,440 in effect from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024. Once recognized, accredited bodies will be subject to an annual fee of U.S$2,131.

Similarly, accredited certification bodies, responsible for conducting food safety audits and issuing certifications for foreign food facilities, will be required to pay an annual fee of U.S$2,664.

Moreover, certification bodies seeking direct accreditation from the FDA will have an initial application fee of U.S$45,440.

The renewal application fees for recognized accreditation bodies and directly accredited certification bodies are both set at U.S$27,888.

Lastly, the annual fee for a certification body directly accredited by the FDA is established at U.S$21,184.

These user fee rates are instrumental in supporting the FDA’s oversight and administration of the TPP program, reinforcing its commitment to upholding robust food safety standards for imported goods.

By implementing these user fee rates, the FDA aims to ensure that the costs associated with administering these crucial food safety programs are adequately covered.

These initiatives play a pivotal role in safeguarding the nation’s food supply chain and underscore the agency’s commitment to protecting public health.

By encouraging voluntary participation and streamlining processes, the FDA takes significant strides in ensuring that food imported into the United States adheres to stringent safety standards.

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