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958 - 04/14 - Impact of New US Food Safety Rules on Carriers of Food - USA
In January 2011, the UK Club informed Members that a new food safety law called the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed in the US.
The law requires, in part, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implement the Sanitary Food Transportation Act and promulgate regulations requiring shippers, carriers, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may render food adulterated.
Now, three years later, the law is in its final stages of implementation and the FDA has imposed a deadline of May 31, 2014 for comments on the proposed rule. Once the deadline for comments is concluded, it will be too late to voice any objections or comments and the carriers will be forced to deal with the implications, costs and consequences of the rule.
In brief, the proposed sanitary transportation rule outlines broad expectations without being specific about the means of accomplishing those requirements. Although carriers are the primary target of the rule, shippers are accountable for establishing and informing the carrier of required sanitary and temperature requirements for the transport of food. Needless to say, questions and ambiguity will loom ahead as carriers explore in greater depth the potential financial and operational impacts of this rule.
As advised, there are only two months left to voice industry concerns before the fast approaching deadline. Comments can be sent to the FDA either in writing or electronically and should reference Docket ID: FDA-2013-N-0013 and/or RIN: 0910-AG98.
In summary, carriers have a golden opportunity to comment on the rule and help shape the very regulations that will govern their food transportation operations and impact their success and bottom line. For details about the proposed rule, refer to the US Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 24 or web address: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-05/pdf/2014-02188.pdf
Although the implications of the proposed rule on carriers are still assessing, the initial reaction is that the impact on carriers could be significant and should be carefully scrutinized. A further article will pose questions and discuss some potential ramifications and issues for carriers to consider.
Source of information
Patrick Brecht, PhD
PEB Commodities, Inc.
Thomas Miller (Americas)
San Francisco, USA
UK P&I Club Loss Prevention Dept