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Tariff Number Changes, Other Steps Expected This Year to Help Combat Seafood Fraud

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud released March 15 an action plan that articulates the steps federal agencies will take domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the task force made in December 2014. This plan includes the following elements.

- by September, implement a strategy to optimize the collection, sharing and analysis of information and resources to prevent IUU or fraudulently labeled seafood from entering U.S. commerce

- by October (a) define the types of information to be collected along the seafood supply chain, from harvest or farm to entry into the U.S. market, and the ways in which this information will be collected, and (b) identify the species to which this traceability system will first apply based on how at risk they are of being the product of IUU fishing or seafood fraud

- by December, implement recommended adjustments to HTSUS numbers to properly identify seafood products in trade

- by September 2016, finalize a rulemaking to collect additional information on species at risk as a requisite of entry into U.S. commerce

- by December 2016, identify the next steps in expanding the traceability program to all seafood entering U.S. commerce

- prioritize combating seafood fraud and the sale of IUU seafood products for joint federal/state enforcement operations and investigation and prosecution of cases in 2015

- conclude in 2015 negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes commitments to combat IUU fishing and first-ever provisions to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies

- work with Congress to enact implementing legislation for the Port State Measures Agreement and receive commitments from at least 14 additional foreign countries to join this agreement, which sets minimum standards for the conduct of port inspections and the training of inspectors to prevent IUU seafood products from entering commercial markets and also requires port states to prevent the entry into or use of ports by vessels that have engaged in IUU fishing (except for inspection or other enforcement actions)

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