FDA extends enforcement discretion for UFI food facility registration requirement to December 2022

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued updated guidance that extends agency enforcement discretion over compliance with the requirement that domestic and foreign food facilities provide a unique facility identifier (UFI) when registering or renewing an existing food facility registration. Food facilities now have until 31 December 2022 to obtain and submit a UFI with their registration.

FDA UFI food facility registration requirement

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States to register with the FDA.1 The statute requires registration renewal to take place during the period of 1 October – 31 December of each even-numbered year.2 The FDA regulations promulgated under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) require that starting 1 October 2020 facilities must provide a UFI when registering or renewing a registration,3 and that the FDA will not confirm a registration or renewal until the agency verifies the accuracy of the UFI.4   

Extended enforcement discretion 

The FDA recently announced that it would be extending enforcement discretion for the UFI requirement, giving facilities until 31 December 2022 to obtain and submit an UFI.5 This flexibility comes after the FDA received feedback from stakeholders expressing concern about obtaining a UFI before the conclusion of the 2020 renewal period. The extended enforcement discretion applies until the next biennial registration period which takes place 1 October – 31 December 2022.   

Details on what FDA considers an acceptable UFI, how to obtain one, and how to register are available in the Constituent Update and Guidance for Industry.  

 

References

1    21 U.S.C. 350d

2    21 U.S.C. 350d(a)(3)

3    21 CFR 1.232(a)(2)

4    21 CFR 1.231(a)(3), (b)(5)

5    Constituent Update:  FDA Extends Flexibility for Unique Facility Identifier Requirement for Food Facility Registration through December 2022 (30 Mar. 2021), https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-extends-flexibility-unique-facility-identifier-requirement-food-facility-registration-through; Guidance for Industry: Enforcement Policy for Providing an Acceptable Unique Facility Identifier (UFI) for the 2020 Food Facility Registration Biennial Renewal Period (Mar. 2021), https://www.fda.gov/media/143997/download

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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