The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food, drugs and cosmetics being imported into the USA to ensure they are safe, sanitary and labelled according to US requirements. Foods imported into the USA can be admitted without sanction if the factories that produce, store, or handle the products are registered with the FDA and prior notice documentation is submitted at the time of shipping.
The FDA will inspect all goods at ports of entry and will detain shipments if they are found not to follow current regulations.
Food is defined as:
Articles used for food or drink for man or other animals
Articles used for components of the above.
As of 12th December 2003, even if you are sending a gift to your friends and family, prior notice documentation must be filed on every shipment, regardless of the financial status of the shipment. From as little as $1 FDA.Express can assist with this so that your care packages do not get seized at the port of entry!
The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act) directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take additional steps to protect the public from a threatened or actual terrorist attack on the U.S. food supply and other food-related emergencies.
Along with other provisions, the Bioterrorism Act requires that FDA receive prior notification of food, including animal feed that is imported or offered for import into the United States. Advance notice of import shipments allows FDA, with the support of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to target import inspections more effectively and help protect the United States' food supply against terrorist acts and other public health emergencies.
FDA requires Prior Notice for all foods imported into the United States. Depending on the method of shipment (Express carrier, air, sea, land, rail, mail, or baggage), FDA may require different data elements to be submitted.
Prior notice gives the FDA time to review and evaluate information before a food product arrives in the US, to better deploy resources to conduct inspections and to help intercept contaminated products.
Prior notice can be filed up to 15 days prior to the date of arrival through the Prior Notice System Interface, but filing through a broker increases this period to 30 days.
Any individual with knowledge of the required information can submit the prior notice documentation, so FDA.Express can take the burden from you.