Any foreign establishment engaged in the manufacture, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of a device imported into the United States must identify a United States agent (U.S. agent) for that establishment.
Information about a foreign establishment’s U.S. Agent is submitted electronically using the FDA Unified Registration and Listing System (FURLS system) and is part of the establishment registration process. Each foreign establishment may designate only one U.S. agent. The foreign establishment may also, but is not required to, designate its U.S. agent as its official correspondent. The foreign establishment should provide the name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the U.S. agent.
The U.S. agent identified will be required to complete an automated process to confirm that they have agreed to act as the U.S. agent. The automated process will forward an email verification request to the U.S. agent. They will be requested to confirm her/his consent to act as a representative/liaison on behalf of the foreign establishment. If the U.S. agent denies consent (or does not respond within 10 business days), the Official Correspondent/Owner Operator of the foreign establishment will be notified and must designate a new U.S. agent to satisfy the regulatory obligation.
Responsibilities of a U.S. agent
The U.S. agent must either reside in the U.S. or maintain a place of business in the U.S. The U.S. agent cannot use a post office box as an address. The U.S. agent cannot use just an answering service. They must be available to answer the phone or have an employee available to answer the phone during normal business hours.
The responsibilities of the U.S. agent are limited and include:
- assisting FDA in communications with the foreign establishment,
- responding to questions concerning the foreign establishment’s devices that are imported or offered for import into the United States,
- assisting FDA in scheduling inspections of the foreign establishment and
- if FDA is unable to contact the foreign establishment directly or expeditiously, FDA may provide information or documents to the U.S. agent, and such an action shall be considered to be equivalent to providing the same information or documents to the foreign establishment.
Please note that the U.S. agent has no responsibility related to reporting of adverse events under the Medical Device Reporting regulation (21 CFR Part 803), or submitting 510(k) Premarket Notifications (21 CFR Part 807, Subpart E).