FSVP explicitly exempts firms that import food from foreign facilities that are in compliance with any of the following:
1. Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (“Seafood HACCP”)
2. Juice Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Program (“Juice HACCP”)
3. Thermally Processed Low-Acid Foods Packaged in Hermetically Sealed Containers. (Importantly, this exemption only applies to microbiological hazards)
However, these exemptions are limited. Many foreign facilities that are already subject to these other food and beverage safety requirements will still be subject to HARPC and Standards of Produce Safety. Therefore, U.S. Importers bringing foods from such suppliers will still be subject to FSVP. The exemptions are essentially illusory because these other food safety programs do not cover all food safety hazards or all elements of food adulteration, both of which are required by HARPC, Standards of Produce Safety and FSVP.
If firms fail to appreciate the limitations of these exemptions, they will fail to implement the FSVP requirements, leading to FDA Import Refusals and Import Alerts targeting both the Foreign Suppliers and the Importers. Placement onto an FDA Import Alert red list will significantly increase the costs of importing.