Benjamin England, CEO and founder of FDAImports and ExportToUsa, said: “As food imports increase and the FDA demands more detailed disclosure and tracking, foreign manufacturers and suppliers will undoubtedly feel the pressure in the coming months from both government agencies and US importers.”
The FDA’s implemented its re-inspection fees on October 1 that feature under the US Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) introduced in January this year.
He explained: “However complex they [regulations] appear to American companies, simply double or triple the potential for confusion for foreign manufacturers and importers. Regulatory compliance is at a level now where you either have to be an expert, know an expert or have uncanny good luck.”
Providing a resource
England’s US and China consultancy businesses work with Chinese manufacturers and traders to educate and communicate US import regulations that they need to be aware of.
The firms work with Chinese companies who don’t know where to start when faced with US requirements and FDA regulations, he explained.
They communicate and explain the FDA’s regulations and requirements that exports must comply with and work to ensure that Chinese companies adhere prior to entering the US. The aim is to help the exporters avoid inspection fees and fines.
He explained: “What we’re seeing in China is a substantial need for help like never before... foreign manufacturers need a partner, a resource they can lean on who is on the inside and who understands what is happening.”
England added that Chinese companies are also trying to strike a balance between quality control and speed during production as demands for imported foods increase alongside burgeoning competition levels.
“Chinese companies have to produce larger shipments, faster than ever before to stay competitive. When you do that month after month, there is a risk that quality control is diminished because the rules are getting more complicated and production outpaces the ability to stay on top of it,” he said.
England predicts that there will be more shipments from China facing FDA detention and import examinations as the FDA begins to implement the new FSMA requirements.