Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has recognized the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) of Bangkok, Thailand as an accreditation body under the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program for a period of five years. This organization is being recognized because it meets the applicable FDA requirements, validated through application review and on-site assessment. (For more information on FDA’s standards for recognition, see: Key Facts about the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program).
Accreditation bodies recognized by FDA will have the authority to accredit third-party certification bodies, also known as third-party auditors. These certification bodies, once accredited, can conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign food facilities (including farms) and the foods – both human and animal – that they produce. Those certifications can be used by importers to establish eligibility for participation in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), and in certain circumstances FDA can require that imported products be certified before entering the United States.
ACFS is being recognized as having the authority to accredit certification bodies with the ability to conduct food safety audits as they pertain to the following regulations: Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (Preventive Controls for Human Food rule) and Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls for Animal Food (Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule).