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Frequently Asked Questions about the

Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol

Updated November 27, 2017

 

What is FSMA and why is it important?
What is the Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol (UFSTP)?
What is the purpose of the UFSTP?
How was the UFSTP developed?
Why are FSMA and the UFSTP important for carriers of all sizes?
How will carriers benefit from participation in the UFSTP?
How will UFSTP benefit shippers, brokers and warehousing firms?
Can the UFSTP be modified or changed?
How does participation in this Protocol work?

What are the costs?
How can I find out further information about the Protocol?

NEW What are the training requirements?

NEW What resources does FDA provide to help with compliance?

What is FSMA and why is it important?

Final rules adopted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will require shippers, receivers and brokers to take certain steps to ensure the sanitary transportation of human and animal food. The FSMA rules include transportation and allow for the delegation of specific duties to carriers governed by the rule.

 

What is the Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol (UFSTP)?

The UFSTP is a voluntary program that essentially commits carriers choosing to participate to adopt best practices for carrier compliance with obligations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) final rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food. The FDA rule and the UFSTP cover equipment cleaning, training, recordkeeping, and temperature control. Shippers, brokers, and others can use UFSTP participation as a tool for identifying FSMA-compliant carriers, and the UFSTP agreement also serves as a statement of terms and conditions that can be adopted by reference into shipper, consignor, broker, and warehousing contracts with motor carriers. UFSTP , Inc. is not affiliated with any government agency, and UFSTP participation is not required by any government regulation.

 

What is the purpose of the UFSTP?

The Protocol tracks the expressed duties shippers, brokers, and consignors can delegate to carriers under FSMA. To avoid controversy and allow augmentation by special agreement, the Protocol sets forth the minimum responsibilities carriers transporting FSMA shipments can be expected to accept.

 

By not dictating motor carrier obligations, FDA expressly left it to the industry to establish best practices. The UFSTP establishes a useful and uniform standard that can be used in the spot market to facilitate the movement of freight without the delay and confusion that could result if FSMA terms had to be negotiated on a load-by-load basis.

 

The Protocol is analogous to the Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA), which, through a similar contracting protocol, establishes the credentials, contracting terms and insurance requirements of thousands of signatory drayage carriers.

 

How was the UFSTP developed?

The UFSTP is the result of a collaborative effort involving carriers, shippers, brokers, warehousing firms and insurers. It is intended to reflect custom and practice in the industry while meeting each of the delegable requirements set forth in FSMA.

 

Why are FSMA and the UFSTP important for carriers of all sizes?

Although the FDA rule exempts carriers with less than $500,000 in annual revenue and gives carriers with less than $27.5 million in annual revenue until April 2018 to comply, many shippers and brokers are seeking evidence of compliance from all their carriers, regardless of size. So while a carrier may not be required to comply with the FDA rule, it may need to demonstrate compliance in order to compete for freight – especially for spot-market loads. 

 

 How will carriers benefit from participation in the UFSTP?

  • Uniform standards for FSMA compliance upon which all can agree

  • Simplified spot-market selection of carriers through website verification that a carrier agrees to the Protocol; and is properly licensed, authorized and insured

  • Equal access for small carriers to shipments involving perishable foodstuffs covered by FSMA by establishing their familiarity and compliance with best food sanitation practices

 

How will the UFSTP benefit shippers, brokers and warehousing firms?

  • Access to an up-to-date list of subscribing carriers and their insurance information will enhance customers’ ability to identify and vet carriers.

  • Codification of practical standards of care consistent with custom and practice in the industry – much like the UIIA in intermodal transportation

 

Can the UFSTP be modified or changed?

Yes. When incorporated as a minimum standard by reference in the shipping contract or load confirmation sheet, the parties can agree to additional shipment specifics, such as additional recordkeeping, trailer wash-out, precooling and other requirements.

 

How does participation in this Protocol work?

Licensed, authorized, and insured motor carriers specializing in the transportation of food subject to FSMA standards may use the Protocol, subject to meeting the requirements and paying an annual fee. UFSTP, Inc. maintains and verifies a list of subscribing carriers to be published on the UFSTP website along with the carrier’s contact information and current insurance information as confirmed by the carrier’s insurance broker or underwriter.

What are the costs?

Motor carriers that meet the requirements for participation in the Protocol must pay an annual subscription fee of $100 to be listed on the UFSTP website as a carrier compliant with the Protocol. The listing of subscribing carriers is public and free to shippers, brokers, warehousing firms, consignors and any other stakeholder in the supply chain governed by FSMA.

 

How can I find out further information about the Protocol?

The text of the UFSTP agreement and information on other steps required to join the program are available at www.ufstp.com/join. Or Contact us at info@ufstp.com.

What are the training requirements?

Because the UFSTP mirrors the FDA rule, the training requirements are the same. All personnel involved in the safe transport of FSMA-regulated food -- drivers, managers, dispatchers, loaders, etc. -- must conduct training provided that the carrier's agreement with the shipper makes the carrier responsible for sanitary transport of the food. The FDA rule outlines the requirements of this training. While a carrier may conduct its own training program or outsource the function to another party, FDA provides a free online training program. For details on training options and requirements, go to www.ufstp.com/training.

What resources does FDA provide to help with compliance?

On November 21, 2017, FDA announced availability of a small entity compliance guide (SECG) to help small entities comply with the rule. Additional resources such as a fact sheet, Q and A, and a Sanitary Transportation Webinar are available at the homepage for the final Sanitary Transportation Rule.

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TransComply provides UFSTP for carriers

Refrigerated Transporter