Exporting food products to the USA is very appealing for UK food manufacturers. The USA is the largest economy in the world, they share a common language and according to the FDF and Santander report, the US has very similar consumer dynamics to the UK. Not only that, but UK exports of food and drink to non-EU countries grew by 16.2% in the first quarter of 2022, demonstrating ample opportunities for the sector post-pandemic disruption.
Whilst the growth percentages are very encouraging there are several complexities to navigate your way through as a UK food and drink manufacturer.
The shipment of food and drink from Europe into the USA is a heavily regulated process, with many rules and regulations that must be adhered to. There are many things that must be planned and organised, which can be stressful and time-consuming for even the most seasoned exporter.
Customs and compliances are a very necessary part of your supply chain, however, their correct completion can be highly complex. At times you might have to deal with several different governmental agencies, including US Customs and Border protection, FDA (US Food and Drug administration) and the Department of Agriculture. If any pertinent information is left out or misplaced any one of the government agencies can withhold your good. A particularly costly threat if you are transporting goods that have a limited shelf life.
At WTA, we have food customs experts on the ground in the USA, who have spent many years working very closely with the FDA and the Department of Agriculture. Their exemplary compliance record and endeavour to stay updated on changes, ensures that your food goods will be cleared promptly. WTA USA Inc. were one of the first customs brokers to be using the ACE System (Automated Commercial Environment). Which is the government's automated system, allowing the trade community to seamlessly report imports and exports and the US government to determine admissibility. Through the use of the ACE System, very often we can clear your food shipments before they even arrive in port.
It is the importers responsibility to submit all necessary documents for customs. However, for your peace of mind we are able to provide step by step advice on the import processes and what documents need to be supplied, to customs to ensure that you are compliant. We will personally check all the information prior to arrival and any information that is missing will be immediately flagged. Our expertise in this area reduces the chance of delays in the journey of your food goods to the United States. Plus we will help you avoid any unnecessary penalties, which can be 2-3 times the value of your goods. We are here to help you reduce the delivery time of your food goods and your overall costs.
Some useful FDA Links that outlines the registration process and the food labelling process:
Many products are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Some of these products include eggs, cheese, meat and poultry or any item containing an animal product. The link below has more information on the USDA
If you are a seasoned exporter of food into the USA or an organisation who would like to start exporting food products into the USA, WTA is here to help