Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Final Rule Establishes Third-Party Accreditation Process

While importers continue to navigate the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a website to assist with the accreditation of third-parties to comply with this final rule. The Accredited Third-Party Certification is a voluntary program created by the FSMA which allows for FDA recognized bodies to authorize third-party certifications or third-party auditors. These certification entities conduct food safety audits of foreign food suppliers and manufacturers. Based on these audit results, an accredited certification body has the authority to issue certifications in regards to food products for human and animal consumption. The website’s launch on June 21, officially instituted the Accredited Third Party Certification Program to provide a useful resource to help suppliers become verified as an accredited entity.

One of the benefits of this new program will give foreign entities, governments, and privately owned third-parties an opportunity to become a recognize body after completing the online application and paying the user fee. Another benefit would expedite the process to allow a foreign supplier to become certified to meet FDA requirements for the prevention of shipping harmful food products into the United States. Additionally, one of the most significant outcomes of this FSMA final rule is the establishment of the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) which allows the FDA to expedite the entry and clearance of all foods approved in the VQIP application.

For questions regarding the FSMA or the application of this aspect of the final rule, please contact OCEANAIR Compliance at (781)-286-2700 or For more information about implementing the FSMA, please review the following links.

  1. Accredited Third-Party Certification Program
  2. Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP)
  3. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification