Qingdao UZP passed FSMA VQIP audit, will receive NSF International’s First FSMA Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Certification in 2020-2021 Fiscal Year

From May 18 to May 19, after two days of tight and intense second-stage audit, NSF finally completed the FSMA VQIP certification audit of Qingdao UZP Foods Processing Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as UZP). During COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to NSF's cutting-edge technology Eyesucceed, this audit was completed under the remote witness of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) official Chris Kelly.

Close meeting
Close meeting of the FSMA VQIP certification audit lead by NSF technical manager Lin Wei

After passing the FSMA VQIP certification audit, UZP will receive a certification, which means that from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, UZP's products exported to the United States will be entitled with faster customs clearance and fewer inspection/test, etc.

The passing of the audit reflects the efforts that UZP put in quality assurance and FDA compliance, on the other hand, as a third-party certification body, NSF’s technical strength are demonstrated by completing the FSAM VQIP audit in this special COVID-19 era and under witness by ANSI officer.

"The Management team and the way they ensured a smooth certification process have left us with a very strong impression of UZP,” said Vicki Zhao, Director of the NSF China Food Safety Department. "We will continue to work with industry leading companies to ensure consumer food safety. At the same time, we also hope that through our technical expertise, we can provide better and more efficient services."

The auditor wears Google Glass auditing on the spot
The auditor wears Google Glass auditing on the spot

The 3-day second stage audit process for UZP by NSF have been smooth, from the initial documents review & onsite audit to the final closing meeting, every process have been witnessed by ANSI officials, reflecting well management of product and quality compliance by UZP.

"UZP has been devoted to practicing BRC, IFS and other International standards and food safety management systems for many years. I am very excited that on this occasion we have passed the FSMA VQIP audit under the review of ANSI. This will increase our company's core competitiveness as we enter the US market." said Pengpeng Sui, deputy general manager of UZP. "Our company is committed to providing consumers with healthy, nutritious and high-quality seafood products. UZP upholds the values of integrity, responsibility, enterprise, focus and pragmatism, and is committed to being a world-class seafood enterprise with its own characteristics and universal values."

This audit is very special because Eyesucceed technology was used during the whole process. Eyesucceed is a high-tech product that uses Google Glass as a carrier and is equipped with a system developed by NSF that can provide services such as remote assistance, intelligent training and artificial intelligence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries are still under travel restrictions. Thanks to Eyesucceed technology, with auditor wearing Google glasses, ANSI officer can witness the whole process from the perspective of the auditor on the computer.

FSMA VQIP certification is the most difficult and most valuable program within the FSMA certification program, and provides a range of advantages for organizations, including:

  • Expedited entry for food imported into the U.S.
    • FDA laboratories prioritize processing of VQIP samples.
  • Limited examination and sampling of foods
    • The FDA exams or samples VQIP food entries only “for cause” like during an investigation of an outbreak or illness, for non-biased surveillance sampling to build a product risk profile or for random sampling to verify that products declared in a VQIP entry are the same as those named in the VQIP application.
  • Sampling at preferred location
    • If sampling is needed, the FDA arranges it at the VQIP food destination or at the VQIP importer’s preferred location. 
  • Help desk
    • The FDA maintains a VQIP Importers Help Desk connecting importers to FDA staff dedicated to responding to questions and concerns.

Qingdao UZP Foods Processing Ltd. is an enterprise invested and established by Unibond Seafood International (UK) Ltd. in China. The company adheres to the principles of ‘customer first’ and delivering products of optimal quality from well managed resources. The objective is to build sustainable growth with customers that value our integrity based, service led culture.  The company strictly abides to the industry norms and standards, and production and business activities adhere to the requirements of international standards.
UZP is the first seafood processing plant in China to obtain BRC certification and MSC certification in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Since 2006, the company has successively obtained SEDEX, IFS, BSCI and other quality and social responsibility certifications. In 2018, it became an AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) enterprise, as awarded by Qingdao Customs.

NSF International is an independent, global organization that facilitates standards development, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in more than 175 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.