The paper analyses the effects of the US implementing mandatory seafood (HACCP) food safety standards on export partners. The authors first review existing empirical literature on food safety and the potential impact of increased food safety standards on international trade and the seafood market. They then undertake an econometric study, folloying a gravity equation approach using both pre- and post-HACCP data (1990-2004). Both positive and negative effects emerge, which vary on the level of analysis (international or country level) and development status of the trading partner.


The United States mandated a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety standard for seafood in 1997. Panel model results for 1990 to 2004 suggest that HACCP introduction had a negative and significant impact on overall imports from the top thirty-three suppliers. While the effect for developed countries was positive, the negative effect for developing countries supports the view of “standards as barriers” versus “standards as catalysts.” A different perspective emerges from individual country-level analysis. Regardless of development status, leading seafood exporters generally experienced a positive HACCP effect, while most other smaller trading partners faced a negative effect.

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Publication type:
  • Journal article
Other authors:
  • Sven Anders
  • Julie Caswell
  • United States