January 1, 2018, marks the mandatory compliance date for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) rule. The fish and fish products affected are those identified as particularly vulnerable and include 11 species of seafood:
- Atlantic Cod
- Blue Crab (Atlantic)
- Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi)
- King Crab (red)
- Pacific Cod
- Red Snapper
- Sea Cucumber
- Swordfish (also included in the NMFS HMS program)
- Tunas: Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Yellowfin, and Bluefin (under certain conditions, it may also be included in the NMFS HMS and 370 programs)
The new reporting and recordkeeping requirements intend to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)-caught and/or misrepresented seafood from entering the commerce of the US. This is the first-phase of a risk-based traceability program which requires importers to report key data points—from the point of harvest to the point of entry in the US. The SIMP program requires a NMFS International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP), which is a continuous use permit that can be used for all NMFS programs. Annual renewal of the NMFS IFTP is $30.00 due 12 months from issuance.
The program will require importers to keep records regarding the chain of custody of the fish/fish product from harvest to point of entry in the US. Data points include where the fish was caught, the type of net used, vessel name, where the fish was offloaded, weight of fish when off-loaded, processor name, and other details. Additional information is available on the Federal Register and NOAA’s SIMP resources page. For specific information regarding your shipments, please contact your local Deringer service center.