How to Import Yak Chews into the US

This guide is designed for wholesale buyers, private labels pet treats , pet industry brands, and retailers in the United States who are interested in importing Himalayan yak chews from Nepal. It provides a comprehensive overview of regulatory compliance, quality standards, shipping and logistics, and market considerations to ensure a successful import process.

Regulatory Compliance

The Current Regulatory Landscape in the U.S.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Pet Food Uniform Regulatory Reform (PURR) Act of 2024, which aims to streamline pet food regulation and place ingredient review and approval oversight under the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
  • The PURR Act centralizes federal regulatory oversight, eliminating inconsistent state interpretations and decisions that impact ingredient and pet food label approvals.
  • The PURR Act does not impact food safety or nutrition and does not affect the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) or FDA’s regulation of pet food safety.
  • Be aware of the current two-tier U.S. pet food regulatory system between states and the federal government, which is over a century old and may not address the challenges of today’s market.

FDA and USDA Guidelines

  • Comply with the FDA’s prior notice and registration requirements under the Bioterrorism Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Adhere to the FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) to ensure that foreign suppliers, such as those in Nepal, meet U.S. safety standards.
  • Maintain FDA certification and comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) for pet food safety and labeling.
  • File a customs entry form with the U.S. Customs Service within 5 working days after the shipment arrives at a U.S. port.
  • Obtain a USDA permit if required for materials of animal origin and comply with APHIS regulations.

Certifications and Quality Standards

It is important to ensure the company you import from in Nepal has the right certifications and quality standards like ISO, HACCP and SA8000 certifications, and meet the stringent quality standards of DFTQC, a Nepalese government agency.

Labeling  

  • Include ingredients, distributor information, feeding instructions, nutritional analysis, product name, net quantity, and the intended pet species on labels. Refer to the link for more details.
  • Follow federal animal food labeling regulations under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 501 and AAFCO regulations where applicable.

Shipping and Logistics

Transportation and Cost Effectiveness

  • Use refrigerated container for cost-effectiveness on larger shipments above 5000 kilos

For smaller shipments, air freight is the best option. Packaging and Temperature Control

  • Employ specialized packaging and transportation methods to maintain proper storage and temperature control, preserving the integrity of yak cheese.
  • Ensure proper packaging and labeling to avoid damage and delays during transit.
  • The refrigerated container should have a temperature tracker installed. 
  • Please ensure to have proper labels attached on the cartons to avoid the confusion of product details when you unpack them at your facility.

Market Considerations

  • Recognize the growing international market for yak cheese and the importance of collaboration for sustainable growth.
  • Understanding the significant demand for Nepali dog chew in the U.S. market, as indicated by the surge in exports.

Working with Customs Brokers and Compliance Testing

  • Work with a licensed customs broker to facilitate the import process.
  • Ensure that pet food products are composed entirely of ingredients acceptable for use in animal foods and do not contain any harmful or unapproved substances. Refer to the link provided for more information.
  • Prepare for regulatory compliance tests, including chemical, analytical, physical, mechanical, performance, and durability tests.

Conclusion

For wholesale buyers, private label pet treats, pet industry brands and retailers in the U.S. looking to import Himalayan yak chews from Nepal, it is important to work with an exporter who understands and complies with FDA and USDA regulations, maintains proper certifications, ensures accurate labeling and packaging, manage shipping and logistics effectively, and stays informed about market trends and potential tariff changes.

If you’re interested in importing dog chews from Nepal, contact Lekali Dog Chew Nepal today to help you meet the growing demand for high-quality Nepali dog chews in the U.S. market.

Latika Golyan
Latika Golyan

Latika Golyan, Founder and Managing Director of Lekali Nepal (the parent organization of Dog Chew Nepal). Her vision is to help dog food retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers see the business value of Lekali dog chews from Nepal and 10x the exports from the country by 2027.

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