March 16, 2023

NOAA Fisheries Proposes Changes to Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) Rule

NOAA Fisheries Proposes Changes to SIMP Rule, Requests Public Comment

On December 28, 2022 NOAA Fisheries announced proposed changes to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). This rule proposes expansion of red snapper to include all species in the Snapper (Lutjanidae) family and expanding the tuna species group to include slender tuna, bullet tuna, frigate tuna, kawakawa, spotted tunny, black skipjack tuna, blackfin tuna, longtail tuna, bonito, escolar, hamachi/yellowtail/amberjack, and other species marked or described as “tuna.” NOAA Fisheries also proposes to add five species or species groups: cuttlefish and squid, octopus, eels (Anguilla spp.), Queen Conch, and Caribbean Spiny Lobster.

This rule also proposes the following administrative changes:

  • The importer of record on the Customs entry filing and the IFTP holder must be the same entity. A foreign entity, without a United States business presence, must have a U.S. resident agent that must serve as the importer of record and hold the IFTP, and that is responsible for compliance with all SIMP requirements.
  • Clarify that all chain of custody documents can be provided to NOAA Fisheries in either paper or electronic format.
  • Revise the Aggregated Harvest Report exemption to clarify the criteria of the small-scale harvest accommodation as a record made at a single collection point on a single calendar day for aggregated catches by multiple small-scale fishing operations.
  • Clarify that product coming into the Pacific Insular Area would be subject to all requirements of this section except those requiring ACE filing. When a product is moved from the Pacific Insular Area to any place with the customs territory of the United States, all requirements would apply.

NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on this proposed rule by March 28, 2023. Directions for submission of comments can be found in the Federal Register.

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