• QA 002
    What happens to coffee refused entry into the USA by the FDA ?
    Contracts for coffee to be imported into the USA always include the clause 'No Pass - No Sale'. This refers to the need for all coffee to be passed, to obtain health clearance, from the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) before it may be imported.
    Asked by:
    A quality controller in India
    The US Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act authorizes the FDA to detain products deemed to be out of compliance with the Act by issuing a "Notice of FDA Action".

    If the owner then fails to submit evidence that the product is in compliance or fails to provide a plan to bring the product into compliance, then the FDA will issue a second Notice, refusing admittance to the product. The product then has to be re-exported or destroyed within 90 days. In the case of coffee the owner could of course present a plan to recondition the coffee to the standard required but this is an expensive exercise.

    There are not many such notices for coffee but they do occur - it is understood that issuance of a notice usually also results in increased FDA attention to subsequent shipments from the origin in question.

    Go to http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/importrefusals for the FDA's Import Refusal Report that lists recent cases.

    Posted 16 November 2004
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