Last week FDA announced that it had signed a regulatory partnership arrangement (RPA) with Ecuador’s seafood regulatory authority (the Vice Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries or VMAF) to enhance the safety of shrimp imported from Ecuador. Shrimp is the most consumed seafood product in the United States and Ecuador is the second largest exporter of shrimp to the United States (following India).
The partnership will increase collaboration between the agencies, including by facilitating information sharing, improving recall notification and response, promoting training on relevant food safety topics such as HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points) and good aquaculture practices, and facilitating joint participation in shrimp inspections, audits, and investigations. Earlier in the month, the agencies announced the signing of a confidentiality agreement to allow for the sharing of confidential information such as inspection and sampling records. FDA also examined various aspects of Ecuador’s regulatory framework for shrimp and VMAF’s capabilities, concluding that it was “confident that Ecuador has key components of a food safety oversight system for shrimp and shrimp products intended for export to the U.S.”
The partnership advances core goals of FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety plan, including by facilitating outbreak response and prevention through information sharing. If successful, the pilot program may lead to other similar partnerships with important U.S. food suppliers.
FDA Signs Regulatory Partnership Arrangement with Ecuador Covering Shrimp Imports
Tuesday, August 29, 2023