The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for protecting and promoting the public health by, in part, helping to ensure that  foods, including fish and fishery products, are safe, sanitary, wholesome, and honestly and otherwise properly labeled.  FDA has the authority to establish regulatory standards, inspect facilities, and take action if there are violations, but it is primarily the responsibility of industry to ensure that food products are safe and meet applicable regulatory FDA requirements.

The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program is responsible for the development and advancement of commercial grade standards for fishery products, better health and sanitation standards in the industry, and for furnishing inspection, evaluation, analytical, grading, and certification services to interested parties.  The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program’s major purpose is to encourage and assist the industry in improving the quality, wholesomeness, safety, proper labeling, and marketability of fish and fishery products for the benefit of the consumer.

Below is a comparison of the two programs.



Required by FDA HACCP Regulation

NOAA Program Assures



Economic Integrity

Hazard Analysis


Sanitation SOP's

Corrective Actions

Verification Procedures



Import Requirements

The NOAA Program provides services beyond mandatory HACCP requirements:

Quality Plan


Quality Marks and Advertising


Pre-Approval of Plan and Labels


Training Certification


Consultative Services


Product Verification


System Verification


CODEX Standards and Codes


Export Certification


ISO 9000 Standards