Food facilities from around the world are required to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if they want a piece of the U.S. market, and once again foreign food producers outnumber the domestic ones. The latest numbers are provided by Hampton, VA-based Registrar Corp., a leading provider of FDA compliance assistance since 2003.
Registrar Corp. recently received the latest data from the FDA detailing the number of registered food facilities in the agency’s database. The data reveals that as of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 221,843 FDA-registered food facilities, with 127,420 of them, or 57 percent, located outside of the United States.
Compared to similar reports Registrar Corp. has received in the previous three years, the data illustrates a gradual increase of 14,190 or 7 percent registered food facilities between December 2016 and December 2019.
The table below shows a year-to-year comparison of total FDA registrations. The decreases represent periods where the FDA canceled thousands of registrations, likely from the facilities failing to renew during required registration renewal periods.
|FDA Registered Food Facilities (December 2016 – December 2019)
(Percentages represent changes from the previous period)
|Dec 2016||Jan 2017||Jan 2018||Dec 2018||Feb 2019||Dec 2019|
|U.S. Registrations||86,773||79,958 (-7.9%)||93,871 (+17.40%)||102,207 (+8.88%)||82,921 (-18.87%)||94,423 (+13.87%)|
|Non-U.S. Registrations||120,880||70,972 (-41.29%)||115,647 (+62.95%)||131,444 (+13.66%)||103,103 (-21.56%)||127,420 (+23.59%)|
|Total Registrations||207,653||149,930 (-27.80%)||209,518 (+39.74%)||233,651 (+11.52%)||186,024 (-20.38%)||221,843 (+19.26%)|
Countries with the Most FDA Food Facility Registrations
As of December 2019, the five countries with the most FDA-registered food facilities are China, Japan, France, Italy, and Mexico. These countries are home to 25 percent of all FDA-registered food facilities and 44 percent of all non-U.S. registered facilities.
Statistics from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative show that the United States’ top food and beverage imports from these countries include fruit and vegetable products, snack foods, and alcoholic beverages. The top food imports from each country in 2018 were:.
- Processed fruits and vegetables ($1.2 billion)
- Fruit and vegetable juices ($393 million)
- Snack foods ($222 million)
- Spices ($167 million)
- Fresh vegetables ($160 million)
- Wine and beer ($6.4 billion)
- Snack foods (including chocolate ($1.7 billion)
- Vegetable oils ($1.4 billion)
- Processed fruits and vegetables ($1.3 billion)
- Wine and beer ($72 million)
- Snack foods ($65 million)
- Tea ($63 million)
- Vegetable oils ($47 million)
- Processed fruits and vegetables ($34 million)
- Fresh vegetables ($5.9 billion)
- Fresh fruit ($5.8 billion)
- Wine and beer ($3.6 billion)
- Snack foods ($2.2 billion)
- Processed fruits and vegetables ($1.7 billion)
A significant amount of FDA-registered facilities are also located in countries such as Canada, Spain, the Republic of Korea, India and Germany. The table below shows the countries with the most FDA food facility registrations in December 2019.
|Countries with the most FDA Food Facility Registrations|
|Country||Dec 2019 Registrations||% of Total Registrations||% of Non-U.S. Registrations|
|CHINA/HONG KONG SAR||12,349||5.57%||9.69%|
|KOREA, REPUBLIC OF||4667||2.10%||3.66%|
Registrar Corp assists more than 20,000 food facilities worldwide with FDA registration and U.S. Agent requirements. Its service includes numerous year-round benefits such as prior notice filings, FDA Compliance Monitoring of facilities, detention assistance, and more.
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