Consumer Commodities Program
The Consumer Commodities Program (CCP) administers the consumer commodity programs of Title 10 GCA, Chapters 32 and 40 by conducting inspections and investigations of foods, drugs, cosmetic, medical devices, and retail hazardous substances to ensure misbranded or adulterated products are not imported,
distributed, or sold on Guam so to protect the public from dangerous or fraudulent commodities.
The CCP is responsible for conducting samples of both local and imported produce for residual pesticides analysis by coordinating such activity with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). National recalls of potentially unsafe consumer commodities are a significant function of the CCP. The staff works closely with the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency to ensure that violative consumer commodities are stopped at our various ports of entries and shares a close relationship with the USFDA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for technical assistance and support in ensuring safe commodities for the people of Guam.
There are four (4) staff assigned to the CCP on a part-time basis as follows:
- Rosanna Y. Rabago (Environmental Health Specialist Supervisor)
- Thomas D. Santos (EHS III)
- Katherine B. Duenas (EHSI)
- Bienvinido N. Portin (Public Health Inspector I)
More than ten staff within the DEH are commissioned officers by USFDA and USCPSC. Such commissioning authorizes staff to conduct examinations, inspections and investigations; collect and obtain samples; copy and verify records; and receive and review official documents of USFDA and USCPSC.
FAQ’s for Consumer Commodity Program
1. What are the requirements to bring in food, drug, medical device, or cosmetic products from foreign countries for commercial retail into Guam?
All food, drug, and cosmetic commodities imported to Guam for commercial retail shall meet requirements in terms of safety, labeling, and, if applicable, registration with USFDA (e.g., drugs and medical devices).
To reference the requirements for commercial retail of food, drug, and cosmetic commodities you can
go to the following websites:
2. What are the basic labeling requirements for food, drugs, and cosmetic commodities?
All food products should be labeled in either English or Chamorro. The basic labeling requirements include the following:
• Common identity (i.e., potato chips);
• Net quantity of contents (i.e., Net Wt. 1080 oz, 51 g) which should be stated in both U.S. customary weight and metric system of weight;
• Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; and
• Statement of ingredients which must be listed in descending order of predominance.
Labeling requirements are quite extensive and consumers should be aware that there are many criteria to address this issue. There are labeling requirements for allergies on food, statements of active ingredients for drug, warning and cautionary statements for those commodities requiring adequate notice (i.e., tamper-resistant packaging), etc. For more information on labeling, please visit the following websites:
Guam Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (Title 10 GCA, Chapter 40)
Food Labeling Guide
Cosmetic Labeling Manual
3. Are there other requirements that I need to know of if I wanted to import and sell consumer commodities?
Yes. All drugs and devices must be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Commodities that are not registered must be approved as a new drug and be registered by USFDA. Color additives must also be approved and registered with USFDA.
4. What are the labeling requirements for all medical devices for commercial retail into Guam?
The Division of Environmental Health requires that all medical devices imported into Guam shall meet FDA’s Medical Device Labeling Guide. To reference the Medical Device Labeling Guide you can go to the following Website:
5. What are the requirements to import bottled water for commercial retail on Guam?
The Division of Environmental Health requires that all importers of bottled water ensure that their product meets the following criteria:
a. Comply with food labeling requirements (See Question #2 above);
b. Pass a bacteriological examination of water for total coliform and E. coli. (Need to expand – where tested?)
c. Three consecutive negative lab analysis results, of the same size, label and type of bottled water, will result in the issuance of a Pre-Importation Clearance, which will allow the importation of future shipments free from detention.
6. What are the requirements to import “Fresh Frozen Shell Fish Products” for commercial retail or personal use into Guam?
The Division of Environmental Health requires that all imported “Fresh Frozen Shell Fish Products” shall be from approved FDA’s Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) which is updated monthly. (Insert definition of shellfish.) To reference information about “Fresh Frozen Shell Fish Products” you can go to the following website:
7. What retail hazardous substances are regulated by the Division of Environmental Health?
According to Title 10 GCA, Chapter 32, hazardous substance is defined as the following:
• Any substance or mixture of substances which is toxic, corrosive, an irritant, a strong sensitizer, flammable or combustible, or which generates pressure through decomposition, heat or other means, if such substance or mixture of substances may cause substantial personal injury or substantial illness during or as a proximate result of any customary or reasonably foreseeable handling or use, including reasonable foreseeable ingestion by children;
• Any substance which the Director, by regulation finds, pursuant to the provisions of §32102(a), meets the requirements of Subparagraph (1)(A) of this Paragraph;
• Any radioactive substance, if, with respect of such substance as used in a particular class of article or as packaged, the Director determines, by regulation, that the substance is sufficiently hazardous to require labeling in accordance with this Chapter in order to protect the public health; or
• Any toy or other article intended for use by children, which the Director, by regulation, determines, in accordance with § 32102(e) of this Chapter, presents an electrical, mechanical or thermal hazard.
Examples of retail hazardous substances are:
• Drain cleaners;
• Paint thinner;
• Laundry detergent; and
• Nail polish remover.
To obtain more information about hazardous substances you can go to the following website:
8. What are the labeling requirements for retail hazardous substances?
The labeling for retail hazardous substance commodities vary greatly depending on the type of hazard. The product must be labeled in English and include the following:
• Name and place of the manufacturer, packer, distributor or seller;
• Common or usual name or the chemical name (if there be no common or usual name) of the hazardous substance or of each component which contributes substantially to its hazard;
• Signal word “DANGER,” in red colored lettering, on substances which are extremely flammable, corrosive or highly toxic;
• Signal word “WARNING” or “CAUTION” on all other hazardous substances;
An affirmative statement of the principal hazard or hazards, such as “Flammable,” “Combustible,” “Vapor Harmful,” “Causes Burns,” “Absorbed Through Skin,”
or similar wording descriptive of the hazard;
• Precautionary measures describing the action to be followed or avoided;
• Instruction, when necessary or appropriate, for first aid treatment;
• The word “POISON” for any hazardous substance which is defined as highly toxic;
• Instructions for handling and storage of packages which require special care in handling or storage; and
• The statement “Keep out of the reach of children” or its practical equivalent; or, if the article is intended for use by children and is not a banned hazardous substance, adequate directions for the protection of children from the hazard.
To obtain more information about hazardous substances you can go to the following website:
9. Some of my commodities were detained by Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officers when I arrived in Guam. What do I do now?
If your commodity was either a food, drug, cosmetic, medical device, or hazardous substance, then the detained commodity(ies) will be referred to our office from the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency (GCQA) for review. Once our staff receives notification of the detention, a schedule will be made with GCQA for an inspection to review compliance with the Guam Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (Title 10 GCA, Chapter 40) and/or the Hazardous Substances Act (Title 10 GCA, Chapter 32). If the products are in compliance with the mandate, then the products will be released. If the products are, or appear to be, in violation of the law, then a “Notice of Detention and Hearing” form will be issued. The form notifies you of your right to a hearing and to present testimony citing the reason(s) why your product should not be refused entry. You have ten working days to respond to the notice from the date of issuance, otherwise the detained products may be subject to automatic refusal and destruction by GCQA.
If your detained commodity is a drug or medical device, then it may be released for your personal use provided the following original documents are provided at the hearing:
• A written statement from your physician (licensed to practice medicine on Guam), requesting the drug and/or medical device be delivered and used under his/her supervision; and
• A written statement from you, addressed to the GCQA authorizing them to re-address the package to your physician.
If a hearing is requested, then we will schedule a hearing with a hearing officer from the Office of the Attorney General who will preside and make a recommendation to the Director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services based on the merits of the testimony provided by both parties (i.e.,Division staff and you, the importer). The detained commodities may be released, refused entry, or reconditioned to comply with the law.
10. I would like to know if my commodity is in compliance with the labeling requirements. Can your office review my product?
No. The Division does not provide such services. It is your responsibility to ensure that your commodity is in compliance.