On January 1, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) for FY 2023. Participants in the fee-based program receive expedited review of animal and human foods entering the United States. Specifically, an import screening tool will be used to recognize and typically immediately release shipments that are part of the program. The FDA will expedite import entry into the United States of all foods included in an approved VQIP application and will limit in most situations examination and/or sampling of VQUIP food entries.
Importers interested in applying should start an application by setting up an account through the FDA Industry Systems website. Once an account has been created, selecting “VQIP” under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) programs options will bring users to the VQIP application page and an option to submit a Notice of Intent to Participate. Importers interested in applying should also review the VQIP Portal User Guide. A list of approved VQIP Importers for FY 2022 is posted to FDA’s website and is available here.
Food importers must meet certain eligibility requirements and pay a user fee to participate in the program.