On May 13, 2010, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) added 16 companies to Import Alert #16-81, “Detention Without Physical Examination of Seafood Products Due to the Presence of Salmonella”. (IA 16-81). FDA has enforcement jurisdiction and promulgates regulations related to all seafood products. This applies to both imported and domestic seafood. According to Benjamin L. England, of FDAImports.com, LLC, “…this Import Alert consolidates three prior FDA Alerts. This Alert covers food manufacturers from countries all over the globe. Because these shipments are detained without even being inspected, even clean shipments will end up detained. If a foreign company is unlucky enough to be on this Red List, significant and unnecessary added costs will be applied to each of their shipments. Successfully petitioning FDA to get off the Import Alert, though often time-consuming, is essential to making a profit and gaining market share in the U.S. seafood market.”
Hundreds of manufacturers have already been placed on Import Alert #16-81, charged with shipping seafood contaminated with Salmonella. In order for a product or manufacturer to be placed on IA 16-81 — which automatically detains the product at the Customs Port of Entry without inspecting the product — the foreign firm needs only to have shipped Salmonella contaminated seafood to the USA once. “Getting placed on this Alert can devastate a seafood processor,” stated Mr. England, “largely because it results in expensive delays, storage fees, shipping charges and private lab testing. Somebody has to pay for all of that and often the importer places that cost on the foreign processor.”
With the recent infusion of taxpayer funds this fiscal year (2010) and another proposed increase for the next, FDA has significantly added more inspection and testing resources to track down violations and enforce US requirements at the border. With added money also comes more political incentive for strong FDA enforcement.
If you are a manufacturer and have a product that has been placed on IA 16-81, currently have entries subject to detention for alleged Salmonella contamination, or are concerned about your firm’s FDA compliance, let FDAImports.com, LLC show you "the way through.” FDAImports.com, LLC is a consulting firm that can assist in avoiding being placed on the Red List of an Import Alert, as well as advise and correct violations in order to be removed from Import Alert #16-81 and get your products back on the market. Don’t let a Warning Letter or a Release with Comment progress into being Red Listed on Import Alert #16-81. FDAImports.com urges manufacturers or importers who are in one of the above mentioned situations, or who desire to avoid costly business problems, to contact them promptly for advice adapted to your specific situation.