VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
FDA Deadline for Registration of Businesses Exporting Wines or Food to the United States under the Bio Terrorism Law
As of this date, the Food and Drug Administration (or the FDA, the American federal agency charged with enforcing the above-mentioned law) claims that fewer than 15% of foreign businesses currently exporting to the United States have registered with them under the new Bio Terrorism Law.
This is a worrisome figure with about two weeks left until the FDA deadline. Please remember that if your company exports wine or food to the US and misses this critical deadline, the law provides for a wide variety of easily enforceable penalties, including but not limited to holding your wines and food at the port of entry. Italy is the number one exporter of wines to the United States and we suspect that many of our readers have not yet complied with the new law.
Please note that complying with the Bio Terrorism Law is mandatory and costs amount to but a few hundred dollars per year, while the cost of arranging and paying for all storage costs, transportation and posting of bond(s) in case a company misses the deadline can easily wind up costing many thousands of dollars. In addition, a foreign enterprise that fails to register and appoint a U.S. FDA Agent as required by the government of the United States, said company violates the law. The federal government can bring criminal actions in federal court to prosecute and, furthermore, the federal government can prevent the delinquent company from ever again exporting to the United States.
Please note that US facilities need to register as well. If a national enterprise that buy, sells, stores and / or transports wine or food fails to register by the December 12, 2003 deadline, such enterprise commits a punishable violation. The federal government can bring both civil and criminal charges against such business.
At WineCountry.IT we are very well aware of the marketing and economic risks the companies that do not comply in time with the new law are facing. For this reason, we have contacted FDA Agents, Inc., one of the leading US agents (as required by the new law) in the effort to help our readers in registering with the FDA, before the December 12, 2003 deadline.
You may appoint FDA Agents, Inc. as your US Agent, as required by the new Bio Terrorism Law, and through them register with the FDA directly online or by fax. Please note that the FDA Agents, Inc. will request registration with the FDA only AFTER RECEIVING FULL PAYMENT for their services and registration fee for at least one year.
The American Embassy in Rome promoted two meetings with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Rome and Milan the past October 20 and 21, 2003 to communicate how to proceed and register with the FDA. Italian enterprises that are not yet fully compliant are strongly invited to contact their local Chamber of Commerce for further information.