Food facilities that manufacture/process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to complete the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) biennial registration process this year between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. Among the facilities required to register with FDA are grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, corn and oilseed processors, pet food manufacturers, renderers and others.

Facilities during the registration process are required to submit a unique facility identifier (UFI) that is recognized as acceptable by FDA. To date, FDA recognizes the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the only acceptable UFI. The DUNS number is assigned and managed by Dun & Bradstreet. DUNS numbers can be obtained or verified by visiting D&B’s website.

The requirement to submit a DUNS number during the registration process became effective Jan. 4, 2020. To address stakeholder concerns about obtaining a DUNS number in a timely manner during the 2020 registration period, FDA released guidance with information on what facilities could do if they were unable to obtain a DUNS number prior to the end of the registration period. The guidance allowed facilities to enter “PENDING” in the UFI field of their registration if they were not able to obtain a DUNS number in time.

However, FDA stated during its food facility registration (FFR) webinar conducted on Aug. 11 that the agency expects all registrants to provide their DUNS number by the end of the upcoming registration period – Dec. 31, 2022. In addition, if the registration process is not completed with all required information, including the DUNS number, FDA stated the registration will be considered expired and removed from the facility’s account.

During the webinar, FDA emphasized that it is imperative that a facility’s DUNS number information and section two of the FFR information match exactly during registration. Common comparison errors between FFR Section Two and DUNS number information include slightly different legal names and addresses in the two databases. For example, “ABC Manufacturing” versus “ABC Manufacturing LLC”, or “123 Main Street” versus “123 Main St.”, or “Kansas” versus “KS” will cause mismatch errors.

Questions about the facility registration process may be directed to the FDA Unified Registration and Listing Systems (FURLS) Helpdesk via phone at 800-216-7331 or 240-247-8804, or by email at FURLS@fda.gov. A reference sheet concerning the DUNS number also is available.

Source: NGFA