FDA adds QR code to specific food export certificates

June 25, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced improvements to the functionality and appearance of two types of export certificates issued for human food products exported from the U.S. Beginning June 29, 2020, the "Certificate to a Foreign Government" and "Certificate of Exportability" for human food products will include a unique QR code to allow easier verification of the authenticity of these certificates.

This will not affect the export of eggs and egg products as the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service offers certification services to assist in the export of eggs, processed eggs and egg product and composite foods containing egg products. UEP will continue to monitor the use of this new technology and advise the industry if USDA begins to consider a similar program in the future.

This added security measure means that anyone who receives a certificate from a U.S. exporter can scan the QR code and see a copy of the certificate as issued by the FDA. The use of QR codes will expedite verification of FDA-issued export certificates compared to the current system, which requires a stakeholder to create an account, contact the FDA to activate the account, and log in to verify the authenticity of certificates.

The FDA will begin issuing the updated certificates on June 29. The FDA requests that importing countries continue to honor and accept any certificates issued with the previous format, through their expiration dates.