The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced plans to conduct a pilot test of the International Trade Data System involving the electronic submission of forms and/or data related to imports of fish products regulated by NMFS using the partner government agency message set and Document Imaging System components of the Automated Commercial Environment.

NMFS programmatic requirements are separated into three different programs: the Highly Migratory Species Program, which includes various tunas and swordfish; the Antarctic Marine Living Resources program, which covers fresh and frozen toothfish (Dissostichus species); and the NOAA Tuna Tracking and Verification Program (NOAA Form 370), which covers a variety of canned, frozen, pouched and other processed tuna (but not fresh tuna). The upcoming test, which will begin no sooner than July 1, will replace the current paper process for these programs with the electronic transmission through ACE of the import data required for admissibility determinations for any merchandise or combination thereof covered by any of these programs.

Examples of the kind of data that will be submitted as part of the PGA message set include the importer’s permit number, a code for the ocean area of the harvest, a code for the type of gear used to harvest the fish or the code providing the country of registry for the fishing vessel that harvested the product. Examples of the types of scanned images that will be submitted to the DIS include the international statistical documents pertaining to the harvest, reexport documents for product imported and reexported from another country before shipment to the United States, or other specific and required catch/harvest documentation pertaining to the product being imported.

Initially this test will only involve formal and informal consumption entries (entry types 01 and 11) filed at certain ports. CBP plans on expanding to include type 02 (quota) entries in the near future. For approved participants, the pilot test may include all modes of transport at the selected port(s) and all commodities regulated under the three programs listed above when imported at one of the selected ports.

To be eligible to apply for this pilot the applicant must (a) be a self-filing importer or customs broker who has the ability to file ACE entry summaries certified for cargo release and ACE cargo release and (b) file entries for the commodities that are the subject of this test.

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