53 RESPONSIBILITIES OF IMPORTERS – Food and Drink – Good Manufacturing Practice, 7th Edition



There is a responsibility on the importer of foods and drinks to satisfy her/himself and the appropriate authorities that the imported products have been produced in accordance with the principles of good manufacturing practice (GMP) and that they, and their mode of packaging and distribution, comply with the relevant legislative requirements at the points of import and sale.

53.1 In all respects, the importer should ensure that the requirements outlined in this Guide are met as though she/he were, her/himself, the producer of the products (for the import of food into the UK, attention is drawn to the due diligence aspects of the Food Safety Act 1990 and subsequent legislation).

53.2 The importer should ensure that all imports are obtained against a clear and legally valid product specification. Attention is drawn to a United Kingdom (UK) legal requirement to obtain appropriate certification in certain instances. Wherever possible, inspection should be carried out at the point of origin to ensure that the agreed specification is met.

53.3 The goods on receipt in the country of destination should be subjected to a food safety and quality control evaluation that should take due account of any changes or damage that might have occurred in transit, and should reflect the confidence level established in the competence of the supplier and the current and historic availability of data on product safety, quality and integrity from that origin. On importation, all the relevant legislative requirements, including those pertaining to labelling and metrology, must be met.

53.4 Consideration should be given to the requirements of local health authorities and port health authorities, and the possibility of problems arising from their needs to examine and clear shipments. Close liaison with officers is to be commended, particularly with regard to sampling, clearance of perishable goods, identification requirements and any special needs relating to the product in question.

53.5 The importer should ensure adequate liaison with the manufacturer on matters relating to legislative or other changes in requirements for the products, and exchange information resulting from complaints, the needs of his/her own customers and the ultimate consumers.