What is FDA Detention Testing, and what does it entail?

What is FDA Detention Testing, and what does it entail?

To put things in perspective, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States reports that 15 per cent of the country’s total food supply is imported from other nations, including 55 per cent of fresh fruit and 32 per cent of fresh vegetables consumed domestically. The USDA is responsible for meat, poultry, and dairy goods, while the FDA is responsible for the majority of the rest, including fresh produce.

With food continually flowing across international borders, the FDA plays a critical role in guaranteeing the safety of produce entering the country. As a result, the FDA conducts routine inspections to ensure that imported food meets US requirements, including testing for pesticides, pathogens, and additives.

Import Refusal from the FDA: What to Do

During an import review, FDA may discover that an imported product appears to violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FFDCA”). Importers and manufacturers get a Notice of Detention and Hearing when the FDA places a hold on a product. (a notice of detention). importer’s Customs broker/filer, explaining how the product appears to violate the FFDCA and that the importer has a certain amount of time (the “detention period”) to provide testimony such as a private lab report or legal arguments to overcome the appearance of a violation.

Proof of Commitment

If a product is held due to an Import Alert, the importer may provide evidence, such as a copy of the product’s invoice. a private lab report, demonstrating that the product is free of the violation cited in the Import Alert. The Importer may submit a private lab report to FDA certifying that the product is Salmonella-free”Seafood Products Without Physical Examination Due to the Presence of Salmonella,” according to Detention Import Alert 16-81. Alternatively, if the importer believes the FDA has charged the products incorrectly, the detention time allows the importer to contest the charges.


The process of designing or changing a product to comply with the FFDCA is known as reconditioning. A product could be heat sterilised by an importer to kill Salmonella. To avoid a labelling cost, a product might also be re-labelled. The FDA occasionally allows the importer to change the product’s intended use, such as switching a product from food to a non-FDA controlled commodity like fertiliser. To recondition the product, the importer must submit a written proposal to FDA.

If the FDA approves the importer’s reconditioning plan, the products are frequently examined or tested to guarantee adequate reconditioning. If the reconditioning entails relabeling the products, for example, FDA will typically have an investigator visually inspect the shipment to ensure that all of the products were relabeled in line with the reconditioning proposal.

What to Do If You’ve Been Issued a Detention Notice

FDA may deny admission of the goods into US commerce and issue a Notice of Refusal to the importer if the importer does not respond to the detention notice before the end of the detention period or fails to effectively overcome the violation. When FDA rejects a cargo, the importer must return the items to Customs custody within 90 days after receiving the Notice of Refusal, and the commodity must be exported or destroyed under FDA or Customs supervision. For additional information, see our article on FDA denials.

The detention notification includes contact information as well as a respond-by-date. The notice’s respond-by-date specifies not just the deadline for replying to the notice but also the deadline for presenting all needed testimony. If the importer intends to have a private lab test the FDA detained Import product, the importer should notify FDA before the respond-by-date lab, on the other hand, is not obligated to complete the testing before the due date. The importer must notify the FDA of the test results and, if necessary, request an extension of the detention period.

Other suggestions include:

1 Notifying the Food and Drug Administration “I never received the FDA detention notice, hence I didn’t answer on time,” virtually never works.

2 Telling the FDA, “I’ve been importing this exact product for years and it’s never been delayed before,” is almost never a good idea.

3 Hardship is almost never taken into account by the FDA when granting approval, as in “If this shipment is denied, I’ll have to close my business!”

4 If an adulterant is discovered in a cargo, FDA rarely recognises private lab testing as evidence to overturn the detention.

5 Carefully examine the detention notice’s claims to establish what precise testimony is required to avoid jail.

6 Keep in mind that the FDA is human and makes mistakes. Each year, FDA examiners must scrutinise hundreds of submissions and, like everyone else, are susceptible to human error. As a result, if the importer believes the FDA detained Import the shipment in error, he or she has the ability to challenge the detention during the detention period.

With Element’s import detention testing and support services, you’ll be able to successfully traverse the FDA detention clearance process.

At the time of importation, the FDA has the ability to hold, quarantine, sample randomly, and/or undertake confirmatory testing on products that are headed for the market. As a result, the product may be held or denied, necessitating additional testing and the submission of analytical packages for clearance. Element provides full-service import hold testing and assistance, including on-site sampling, testing, and regulatory support for US FDA detentions, such as Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE), formerly known as FDA Automatic Detention.

As the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) continues to expand, the FDA is testing an increasing number of foods and commodities at the point of import. Element’s expertise ranges from regulatory compliance to analytical and microbiological testing of a wi

de range of items, including foods, supplements, OTC, and personal care products, as well as cosmeceuticals, consumer products, and household goods.

Our regulatory and scientific consultative teams are experienced with the FDA’s sample collection, testing, and analytical package procedures for releasing delayed imported goods that have been tested and found to be pure and “clean.”

Import testing services provided by the FDA

Sampling on the spot

Services for testing

Support from the regulatory authorities, including the filing of analytical packages

Advantages of the Element

When the FDA sets an import hold on a product, the importer is responsible for ensuring that it complies with FDA laws and regulations. On-site sampling, analytical testing, and regulatory support services are all provided, including the submission of analytical packages to the FDA., Element’s teams of regulatory and scientific professionals can assist you to negotiate the process of releasing withheld or detained items.

For additional information or to speak with one of our specialists about our FDA import detention testing services, contact us now.

Import Alerts and Detentions by the FDA

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 15 per cent of the total food supply in the United States is imported, with 55 per cent of fresh fruit and 32 per cent of fresh vegetables consumed domestically coming from other nations. The USDA and FDA are the government agencies in charge of safeguarding the safety of our food supply. The USDA is in charge of the meat, poultry, and dairy goods, while the FDA is in charge of the rest, which includes fresh produce. The FDA has a significant job ensuring that the products entering the country are safe, especially since food is continuously flowing across borders.

The FDA conducts regular inspections and tests to ensure that imported food meets US pesticide, pathogen, and additive regulations. The importer is placed on Import Alert when pesticides are identified in a product that exceeds the tolerance or MRL (maximum residue limit).

The FDA needs further verification that each succeeding shipment is appropriate for entry into the US when a shipper is on the Import Alert list. Each cargo is effectively halted until the importer can demonstrate that it complies with US regulations. “Physical inspection without detention” is how the FDA describes it. (DWPE). This evidence can be submitted in the form of a third-party private laboratory report conducted by a laboratory unaffiliated with the FDA in order to free up agency resources.

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