The federal agency announced yesterday [June 22] that it will start issuing Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) certificates to US feed manufacturers looking to export feed, ingredients and pet food products, making it possible for facilities located across America to obtain these certificates for export where and if required and eliminating inconsistencies in state regulations.
With an increasing number of international regulatory bodies requiring Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates from manufacturers to document their compliance, it was imperative that the US establish a mechanism for obtaining such a certificate, stressed the trade group.
“AFIA has been pushing for this process that will allow the continued flow of animal food products to international buyers and to stem the ongoing loss of millions of dollars in missed trade opportunities,” said AFIA president and CEO, Constance Cullman.
Now feed manufacturers in all 50 US states, not just the 12 states that already had processes for issuing GMP certificates, will have the ability to obtain these certificates, she said.
Feed trade with Mexico, Brazil
Brazil has required GMP certificates for over a decade. Without a mechanism in place for a US federal authority to issue GMP certificates, only manufacturers operating in those 12 states with a state based GMP certification program could export their products to Brazil, said the AFIA.
Inconsistencies across the state-issued certificates also caused confusion and highlighted the need for a federal program as more countries begin requiring certification, it added.
“Mexico, the feed industry’s largest export destination, is expected to implement a GMP certificate requirement soon. Without this program, over $1.6bn in exports to Mexico would be at risk.”
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gave the FDA the authority to issue and charge fees for export certificates for feed; however, the agency opted to delay issuing the certificates until all-sized manufacturing facilities were required to be compliant with FSMA’s CGMP regulations and could be inspected.
As of last October, all-sized facilities must comply with these regulations and inspections are ongoing. Once all facilities were compliant, last autumn, the AFIA sent a letter urging the FDA to move forward on this process, it explained.
Step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a CGMP certificate are listed on FDA’s website.