U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a message stating that beginning at 12:00 a.m. on Oct. 15, all entries of shrimp, fish, and fish products originating from Mexico that are entered under designated HTSUS numbers must be accompanied by a National Marine Fisheries Service certificate of admissibility signed by one of the 14 duly authorized officials of the Mexican government. A transition period during which CBP accepted either the NMFS certification or an importer statement of admissibility will end at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 14.

These forms are being used to implement a prohibition on imports from Mexico of fish and fish products harvested by gillnets in the upper Gulf of California within the geographic range of the vaquita, an endangered porpoise. This ban covers all shrimp, curvina, sierra, and chano fish and fish products but exempts fisheries for curvina and sierra using actively deployed gear.

Both certifications may be submitted via the Document Imaging System using the NM23 code within the NMFS message set, sent by e-mail or fax, or submitted in paper form to the appropriate CBP port of entry official for review. If no certification is submitted, the entire shipment is to be refused entry.

CBP states that certain processed commodities (dog and cat food) under designated HTSUS numbers may be disclaimed and not have to submit the importer statement of admissibility or the NMFS certificate of admissibility. Instead, if applicable, shipments using HTSUS 2309.90, 2309.10, or 0511.99.3060 may be disclaimed with the statement “the commodity under HTS (list the code) does not contain shrimp or fish products.” This disclaiming statement must be uploaded into DIS using code NM23, sent by email or fax, or submitted on paper to the CBP port of entry.


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