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Seafood Import Monitoring Program Implementation to be Focus of Public Meetings

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program will be the focus of a series of meetings that the National Marine Fisheries Service will hold in July. Additional meetings in the U.S. or abroad may be added and would be announced online at least one week in advance.

The SIMP will impose new permitting, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements for imports of 13 species of fish and fish products identified as being at particular risk of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing or seafood fraud. This program represents the first phase of a risk-based traceability program designed to prevent illegally harvested and misrepresented seafood from entering U.S. commerce. Under the SIMP importers will be required to submit harvest and landing information on covered products through the International Trade Data System prior to entry into U.S. commerce. They will also have to maintain supply chain records from the point of harvest to the point of entry into U.S. commerce for two years after entry.

The mandatory compliance date for the program is Jan. 1, 2018, but that could change based on the outcome of an ongoing challenge in federal court. In addition, the compliance date for abalone and shrimp has been stayed until further notice.

NMFS will hold public meetings July 13 in Long Beach, Calif., July 18 in Seattle, Wash., July 20 in Elizabeth, N.J., and July 25 in Miami, Fla., to address issues relevant to both foreign exporters and U.S. importers of seafood species whose products are covered by the SIMP. All meetings will include discussion of the implementation timeline, pilot testing in the Automated Commercial Environment for U.S. importers, traceability data requirements for reporting, and supply chain data requirements for recordkeeping.

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