FDA Imports

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Learn more about key import requirements for importing food into the U.S.

FDA Import Program: Spices are subject to examination by FDA when they are imported or offered for import into the U.S. The FDA Import Program includes resources for industry such as import alerts, admissibility determinations for shipments of foreign origin, and import refusals. Information is also available regarding how to remove a company or product from an import alert, or information about what to do if your product is refused entry into the U.S.

Import Alerts: A “Detention Without Physical Examination” (DWPE) is a type of import alert whereby the FDA can detain a specific spice product from specific company or country of origin without examination due to a known issue. The FDA Import Alert for Salmonella, or the “Red List,” is under Import Alert 99-19. Import Alerts for spices and lead are under Import Alert 28-13. Both lists are continuously updated.

Prior Notice for Entry: FDA published guidance for industry on prior notice of imported food that has been refused entry by another country as required by Section 304 of FSMA. A person submitting prior notice of imported food must report the name of any country to which the article has been refused entry. The current version of the guidance includes frequently asked questions about prior notice requirements.

FDA Export Certificates: An FDA-issued Certificate to a Foreign Government is available for exporting conventional foods, food additives, food contact substances and infant formula that meet the applicable requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act that can be marked in the United States. This certificate states, among other things, that a product may be marketed in and legally exported from the United States.

Country of Origin Labeling (COO): Country of Origin labeling, sometimes referred to as COO, or COOL, is a U.S. labeling requirement that requires every item imported into the U.S. to be marked in English with the country of origin indicated. ASTA’s white paper includes information about compliance with these requirements and exemptions for spices.

Download Origin Labeling