Wild-caught fish on ice.

Seafood Commerce & Certification

Domestic & International Services

We offer the same services to both U.S. and non-U.S. firms operating overseas or processing in foreign countries. The range of international services includes:

  • Training on the principles of auditing, hazardous analysis and critical control point (food safety), or sensory analysis.

  • On-site implementation and verification of HACCP-based process controls.

  • Third-party verification activities for foreign processors.

  • Online certification through the Seafood Inspection Services Portal

Export Certification

We offer export certification services to facilitate exports of seafood products that meet the unique requirements of each importing country and any other specific industry buyer criteria.

We represent the United States in negotiations with other countries regarding their import requirements for seafood products from the United States. These negotiations frequently include the development and modification of certificates to accompany U.S. seafood exports. We are the Competent Authority to issue and sign these certificates in the United States.

If foreign border inspection posts raise questions about a certificate issued by the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program, NOAA will attest to the legitimacy of the certificate and make an effort to answer any questions. NOAA may act as a go-between for communication between the exporting industry and importing authority to quickly address issues that arise when a product is detained from entry.

Detentions related to export certificates may arise from simple language translation, varying interpretations of regulations in the importing country, or issues not related to seafood safety.

NOTE: Export certificates must be requested and issued prior to shipment of product.

Export Certification to the European Union

We certify U.S. seafood products for export to the European Union.

Instructions and requirements are available for both export health certification and IUU catch documentation required for export to EU member countries.

Note: If products are first being exported to a non-EU country, but will subsequently be exported to the EU, they MUST be accompanied by an IUU catch document.

Learn more about export certification to the European Union  

Export Certification to non-EU countries

The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program certifies U.S. seafood products for export to any country requiring health certification.

Get country-specific instructions and requirements for export to non-EU countries:

Export Certification for Aquatic Animal By-Products 

Requests for export certification of aquatic animal by-products not intended for human consumption are processed by our National Seafood Inspection Laboratory. Certificates are issued after verification that all U.S. requirements are met along with any specific requirements of the importing country. Email requests to: nmfs.nsil.fm.export@noaa.gov.

Certification Validation  

We maintain a database of verified completed seafood inspection certificates. To use the system, you will need to know the certificate number, certificate number extension, certificate date, and species.

Export Requirements


Fish and Fishery Products for Human Consumption and Fish Meal 

The foreign country export requirements provided below are based on information from prior exports, official notifications, and available online websites from each country’s competent authority. The information is meant as guidance only, and all exporters should confirm product documentation requirements with the importer and the competent foreign authorities before production for export to a foreign market. We assume no liability for the accuracy of this information.

Information provided in each country's webpage relates to certification requirements for fish and fishery products destined for human consumption. Certificates for these countries might include food safety/public health attestations, animal health attestations, or both. Email inquiries to NMFS.Seafood.Services@noaa.gov.

Foreign Approved Lists

Various foreign destinations for U.S. fishery product export have listing requirements. Exporters should carefully review their current listing status prior to arranging shipments. This section provides links to current approval lists for specific destination countries.

The listed trade partners have various listing requirements for export from the United States involving shippers and/or processors. These lists are maintained by either U.S. Department of Commerce or Food and Drug Administration in partnership with the foreign government.

Go to foreign approved list

Trade Monitoring

NOAA Fisheries plays a critical role in streamlining seafood trade in and out of the United States. Working in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we provide support to seafood dealers to ensure imported seafood, such as Patagonian toothfish, bluefin tuna, swordfish, and bigeye tuna, is caught and imported legally.

Learn more about the Seafood Import Monitoring Program 

Learn more about the Swordfish Import Monitoring Program  

Learn more about the Toothfish Import Monitoring Program 

Learn more about Dolphin Safe Tuna (Tuna Tracking and Verification Program)

Foreign Seafood Trade Data

We maintain a foreign trade database dating back to 1975 that allows users to summarize U.S. foreign trade (imports/exports) in fish products. You can can summarize the weight and dollar value by year, product, country, and type of trade.

Learn more about foreign trade data