As part of its pivot to online platforms during the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, the USAID TradeHub brought together approximately 60 representatives of potential southern African exporters for a March 31, 2020 webinar hosted by U.S. Import Agent, a New Jersey-based trade promotion service provider. The virtual event, co-sponsored by the South African Consulate General in New York City, offered participants an overview of U.S. import requirements set out in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, including the Act's Foreign Supplier Verification Programs. Attendees had been slated to participate in this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, which will likely be cancelled or postponed beyond its scheduled June 2020 date. To ensure that the prospective, USAID TradeHub-selected participants remain engaged and poised to explore U.S. export opportunities once the COVID-19 travel restrictions lift, the webinar hosts discussed the role of stateside import agents in bringing overseas-sourced products in line with the Food and Drug Administration’s safety rules. Demand for these capacity-building opportunities was evident among participants, and the USAID TradeHub is already exploring subsequent online events to maintain this momentum. To view a recording of the March 31 event, please click on the video above.

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