It’s not always a good thing to be “on the list,” particularly if you’re on the black list. One such black list is the FDA’s Import Alert list. Being placed on this can mean big problems for a company, and it requires the assistance of a professional customs attorney to petition for removal.

What is the FDA’s Import Alert List?

Basically, if a company is placed on this list, it means the FDA is providing a warning to importers around the world that the company’s products present safety concerns. If an Import Alert is placed on products or a company, it can mean not only big headaches, but also significant costs.

The FDA is able to automatically detain said products at the border, also known as Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE). Although many products flagged with an Import Alert can still be imported into the U.S., it becomes a very expensive process for importers, lowering the amount of money they’re willing to pay for the flagged products.

If the FDA opts to refuse a shipment as a result of the importer doing nothing about an automatic detention, the shipment is either exported or destroyed. It’s also possible for the FDA to request Customs seize the detained products.

A few examples of reasons are placed on these lists are because of pesticide and contaminant residues and the presence of salmonella.

The FDA has set-up a comprehensive Import Alert page allowing users to search by company name, country and other criteria.

If a company is placed on the FDA’s black list, it can’t be removed until sufficient evidence is produced, showing the merchandise meets FDA compliance requirements.

Removal from the Import Alert List

The exact methods used for removal from the Import Alert list are directly related to the reason a company was placed there to begin with. If a food finds its way to the list as a result of misbranding, the FDA requires that at least five consecutive shipments enter the U.S., with at least one of those being audited for compliance by the FDA. It’s also worth noting these shipments can’t be made over one day or any other unreasonably short period of time.

In addition to the auditing process, it’s necessary that a Petition be filed directly with the FDA, requesting removal from the list. Important information included in a Petition include the specifics of the products in question, their entry numbers, and a variety of other relevant documentation.

A Petition isn’t just a cut and dry process. It has to be persuasive, and convincingly show the problem has been completely remedied.

While there are instructions provided by the FDA demonstrating how the removal process works, most people find success through the assistance of a qualified and experienced customs attorney. A customs attorney such as www.customsesq.com (Abady Law Firm, P.C) helps their client make a convincing case for removal, and they can also guide them through the lengthy and extensive paperwork and documentation required during the process.

Not only is the company charged with showing the problem has been fixed for current shipments, but it’s also responsible for outlining how a future problem will be avoided.

If your company is losing money as the result of placement on the FDA’s Import Alert list, contact us. Our import/export attorneys can provide you with the counsel you need to regain your profits and be removed from this highly detrimental list.

Please see article by Virtual-Strategy Magazine entitled Less than 3% of Companies on FDA Import Alert Red Lists Petition for Exemption Read more: http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2014/11/05/less-3-companies-fda-import-alert-red-lists-petition-exemption#ixzz3IEOALsE6

Resource Information

For more information about this blog post, please contact Abady Law Firm, P.C. and speak with our customs attorney at (800) 549-5099. Also visit www.customsesq.com to chat with a customs lawyer — who has insight into the FDA import alert list — about your company’s import situation and to schedule a consultation.  To chat with us, click the bottom right corner tab of our homepage.

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