Is it possible FSMA could catch you out?

NSFThat’s the question for businesses exporting to the US. FSMA (The US Food Safety Modernisation Act) has been hanging over the US for several years now, with different regulations and updates being drip fed into the public area. FSMA was signed into law with the aim of providing safe food to US consumers. Its implications have by and large been ignored by countries outside the US until recently. But as the Act begins to ’bite’ from next year (some provision are already in force), businesses have had to sit up and take notice. Talk of the US ‘policing the world’ may be wildly exaggerated but it is true, for example, that the proposed rules for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals and for Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors vastly widen the scope of the FDA’s oversight of imports, allowing it to refuse imports without prior FDA inspection and to require certification to US standards.

But what does that mean in practice for you?

We will look in overview for example at questions like:How far am I from meeting the FSMA requirements if I am certified to the BRC or other GFSI standards?’ orWhat changes might I need to make to my existing food safety management systems in order to be FSMA compliant?’

You may believe that your business is ready but is it possible you could be tripped up by the onerous requirements on US importers? How do you know that your buyer has covered all the necessary bases? We will look at some of the less obvious but vitally important implications of the Act.

Jude MasonSo let’s introduce the team: I am Jude Mason, Director of Client and Product Services and will be speaking with my colleagues, Frank Schreurs, Global MD of Consulting & Technical Services based in North America and Dominic Watkins, partner and Head of Food group at DWF law firm.  We put together a team for this webinar who understand the US perspective, the terms of the Act and the regulators’ mindset (Frank), who have an expert knowledge of European food law and know where the gaps and pitfalls for businesses are by comparison with US legislation (Dominic) and who can give you practical guidance on preparing for FSMA (me). I will be talking about the six essential steps your business needs to take for FSMA readiness.

NSF International is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to improve public health. Now one of the most widely known and respected food assurance brands operating in over 70 countries worldwide, we work with many global retailers and manufacturers, delivering food safety expertise to both established and developing food supply operations and regions.  Our food safety services include assurance and certification, consulting, technical services, risk management and training, in addition to testing and standards creation. 

DWF provides specialist legal services to the retail, food and hospitality sectors providing expert services in food law, trading standards and food safety and providing the legal support that the food sector needs across the EU. Dominic has a huge amount of experience of working closely with some of the biggest international brands in the retail and FMCG sectors and of advising in relation to trading standards and food law compliance from product development through to successful launch and ongoing marketing campaigns.

The NSF Technical Services division is the leading independent provider of trading law, food assurance and supply chain technical services for the retail, manufacturing, travel and leisure sectors. Through our legal advisory service, we can offer practical application in both Food and Non Food, from product inception, specification work, product import and exports, barriers to trade, to labelling and marketing.

As challenges such as food fraud and other serious supply chain risks manifest themselves on a global scale, the requirement is for a strategic global approach that also has the ability to pinpoint and remove risk in the supply chain at the most local level. NSF is addressing the most significant themes of today, including risk quantification & horizon scanning, organisational culture and maturity models for food safety systems, behavioural food safety, food fraud in the supply chain and crisis management and planning.

Have a look at our NSF Consulting Group page on LinkedIn  – we’ve got some interesting discussions going among our high powered food safety expert members and over the coming months will be posting more information and discussion around FSMA.

To register for NSF’s webinar ‘The six essential steps to FSMA compliance’ on the 14th May click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *