The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has adopted the use of accreditation in its oversight of imported foods. The FDA recognises accreditation under the voluntary Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.
Accreditation bodies recognised by FDA have the authority to accredit third-party certification bodies, which once accredited, can conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign food facilities (including farms) and the foods – both human and animal – that they produce.
The FDA has also launched a Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), a voluntary fee-based program which offers expedited review and entry of human and animal food into the United States. Importers interested in participating in VQIP will be required to meet a number of eligibility requirements, which include ensuring the facilities of their foreign supplier are certified under the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.