Clearly, importation of food carries with it responsibility for safety. In most places, there is a specific administration of the duties to provide safe food importation through legislated regulations. This is one way governments protect their citizens from the dangers of uninspected, imported foods.
How To Learn Food Importation Regulations
There are several ways to become more knowledgeable of importation regulations. The sources of these regulations are generally found at government websites. Or, they can be reviewed at any government office that manages importation of food. In the US, as an example, the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for food importation. The regulations are part of related legislation and can be easily reviewed online or at a local library. In addition, any current problems arising with food safety can usually be found by checking the government public information sources or by checking with the authority chiefly responsible for food inspection. Generally, whenever there is an importation of unsafe food, it's is publicly announced to make citizens aware of potential health problems.
Food Importation Regulations
Inasmuch as global trading has increased importation, the onus of responsibility lies first with the exporter of foods and then, on a receivership basis with the importer of foreign foods. Exporters are required to provide full documentation on each shipment of food into the country of import. This is often known as "Contract of Sale". Further shipping documentation is required at port of entry into a country. Regulations vary from country to country. Certain countries allow only large commercial importation of food. In these cases, food cannot be imported through regular mail or courier services unless government approval has been granted.
Food Importation Documentation
Comprehensive documentation for food shipments provides the origin of manufacture, the shipper and the condition of the shipment at final destination. This makes it easier to trace the sources of unsafe foods or foods that may be potentially hazardous. In order to know the specific food importation regulations, it's also important to know which importers are the main sources of food importation for any given country, which types of foods are prohibited from importation and how specific regulations apply as written. This may also apply to food processing and packaging.
Additions to Food Importation Regulations
Given the possibility of bioterrorism, there have been additions to food importation regulations. This includes registration for food processing facilities, more stringent record-keeping, and enforcement of prior notice of aircraft arrival as related to food shipments by air as well as multiple-port shipments and food imported for future use. Most of the food importation regulations are relatively easy to understand and are readily available through customs and border protection agencies. Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products may be under the jurisdiction of a federal agricultural authority.