TPCP (Third Party Certification Program) is a standard aimed at companies that export to the USA and which CSQA has implemented in compliance with part of the regulations that make up the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and is

In particular, the standard is regulated by 21 CFR part 1 subpart M and consists of the voluntary certification of the company's Food Safety system applicable to the various sectors.

The TPCP standard is linked to the VQIP program (Voluntary Qualified Importer Program) applicable to American importers who, when importing from certified companies, can take advantage of direct benefits at customs level, i.e. a rapid customs clearance process and a reduced number of analyzes at customs before of unlocking the products.

Currently, the average storage time of incoming products varies between 6 and 7 days with an average cost of between 650.00 and 750.00 USD per day.
Importers who join this program reduce that time to “seconds,” according to FDA sources.

The VQIP program is relatively recent and therefore at the moment the importers who have joined are relatively few. However, among these there are some of the big-players of the American market who import products in significant quantities and range, such as, among others, Costco Wholesale ( Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP): Public List of Approved VQIP Importers ).

CSQA is the first and only European body accredited by ANAB for the certification of the standard.


The standard applies to all companies that fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA (excluded, for example, fresh and processed meats with the exception of game, egg products and alcoholic beverages) from primary production (fresh fruit and vegetables and related processing activities warehouse) and all processed products except those mentioned above.

In particular , 21 CFR 112 (Standard for Produce Safety) applies to fresh fruit and vegetables , selected and packaged without altering their physical state, while 21 CFR 117 relating to Preventive Controls For Human Food applies to processed products .

There are also some additional requirements that apply to specific products with additional regulations (e.g. 21 CFR 101 for labeling, 21 CFR 130 for dairy products, etc.).

The verification activities, therefore, are aimed at evaluating the conformity of the food safety plan and its application in the factory.

A peculiar feature is that the audits are all unannounced within a 30-day window which will be communicated by CSQA to the requesting company.


The company that is certified can have access to the American market in a proactive manner , offering itself to importers who already join the VQIP program with an accredited certificate on mandatory compliance elements , facilitating the import process and qualifying as a supplier with a high level of reliability.

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