On January 1, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) application portal for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

VQIP is a voluntary, fee-based program that provides importers who achieve and maintain control over the safety and security of their supply chains the benefits of expedited review and importation of human and animal foods into the U.S.

To participate in VQIP, food importers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including ensuring that the facilities of their foreign suppliers are certified through FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program. Certification bodies conduct food safety audits of foreign facilities and farms, and issue the certifications that importers need to participate in VQIP.

If you are a food importer interested in applying for VQIP benefits during (FY) 2024, the portal will close May 31, 2023.