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Exporting to USA

Exporting food and drink to the USA

The United States is an attractive market for many UK and European food and drink manufacturers but, with very different legislation and requirements, exporting can be a daunting task; simply sending a UK or EU compliant label to the USA would not be legal and could result in a costly border rejection.

Prevention is the backbone of US regulations and so the food regulations are centred on the prevention of misbranding and adulteration in foods. Foods are considered to be misbranded or adulterated unless they are made in compliance with these regulations. Any food considered to be misbranded or adulterated may be rejected at the border, causing huge unnecessary costs to businesses.

To add to the complexity of the regulatory landscape, there are multiple agencies involved in food regulations in the United States. This can make it difficult to understand who has regulatory control of your products. The primary US regulators in regards to establishing and enforcing food safety standards are:

It is important that companies exporting to the US have a good understanding of the legislative requirements and of which of these agencies are responsible for their products. It is also advisable to work with a trusted and competent importer or distributor able to advise and guide you through the process.

Here are some top tips that you should remember when thinking of exporting to the United States:

1. Remember to register your facility with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
All manufacturers / packers that supply food subject to FDA’s jurisdiction to be imported into the United States are required to register with the FDA. If a facility is not registered, the food may be considered to be adulterated and entry may not be permitted.