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Top 5 Things to Know When Exporting US Foods to Other Countries
May 09th 2022

Top 5 Things to Know When Exporting US Foods to Other Countries

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Written by Dodi Hanes, Label Compliance Manager

The United States is such an influential player in the food industry, so it is easy to assume that other countries willingly accept foods manufactured in this country. Surprisingly, that is not always the case. Here are the top five things to be aware of when considering exporting a US food product to other countries around the world.

1. Know the Export Country Requirements

Most countries do not accept food products manufactured in the United States that do not have the proper labeling and formulation for that intended country. Maybe English is not a primary language in that country or nutrition facts panel requirements are different. There are certain ingredients permissible in the United States that might not be allow in that exported country. 

2. Follow Country and Commodity Specific Criteria for the Export Country

Some countries such as China, the United Kingdom and the European Union have limitations for additives in certain types of foods such as infant formula, seafood or dairy categories. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains this information in the Food Export List.

3. Obtain the Proper Export Certificates

Be aware, that depending on the type of food that one is exporting there may be different kinds of certificates that are required. The FDA and other agencies issue export certificates, depending on the governing body.

4. Work with the Proper Regulatory Jurisdiction within the US

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) governs the export of plant products and animal products with specific export regulations for each. Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) ensures the safety of meat, poultry and egg products for export and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for seafood. FDA has jurisdiction over all other food products in the US intended for export.

5. Get the Right Approvals

The package label, formula and/or ingredients could require pre-approval, depending on the product. For example, if a food category falls under 9 CFR Part 412, FSIS must approve the final label prior to export.

Creating a food product that is compliant within our own country can be challenging enough with all of the rules and regulations, let alone for other countries. If you find yourself in need of help, our Label Compliance and Regulatory Services department at Mérieux NutriSciences can assist you with your food labeling needs for 100+ countries globally. Contact us at labeling.na@mxns.com and see how our specialists can assist you.


Useful References:

1.       https://www.fas.usda.gov/data

2.       https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/fda-export-certification

3.       https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export/export-guidance

4.       https://www.fda.gov/food/exporting-food-products-united-states/food-export-lists

5.       https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export

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