On April 24, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), published in the Federal Register a final rule and compliance information [Docket No. 180417378–8379–01] with respect to application of the Seafood Traceability Program to shrimp and abalone. NMFS issued a final rule on December 9, 2016 (81 Fed. Re. 88975, December 9, 2016) to establish the Seafood Traceability Program (also known as the Seafood Import Monitoring Program or SIMP). Implementation of the Program for shrimp and abalone species was stayed indefinitely due to NMFS’ determination that current data collection for shrimp and abalone aquacultured in the U.S. is not equivalent to the data that would have been required to be reported for imports of these products. Section 539 of Division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 directed the Secretary of Commerce, within 30 days of enactment of the Act, to lift the stay on the implementation of the Seafood Traceability Program with respect to shrimp and abalone. This rule informs the affected public of the effective and compliance dates for the reporting and recordkeeping requirements, applicable for imports of shrimp and abalone species originating from both wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations.

The stay on 50 C.F.R. 300.324(a)(3) is lifted effective May 24, 2018. The compliance date for this rule for the species included at 50 C.F.R. 300.324(a)(3) is December 31, 2018. As of the December 31, 2018 compliance date established by this rule, importers of shrimp and abalone species will be required to obtain an International Fisheries Trade Permit as specified at 50 C.F.R. 300.322, submit harvest and landing information on those products into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) International Trade Data System (ITDS) through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal prior to entry into U.S. Commerce, and maintain supply chain records from the point of harvest to the point of entry into U.S. Commerce for a period of two years after entry.

International Fishery Trade Permits are currently available for issuance and it is anticipated that ACE reporting will be available for testing prior to the compliance date. Prior to December 31, 2018, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to inform interested parties that ACE programming has been completed to allow U.S. importers to test software for ACE entry reporting for shrimp and abalone. For products harvested prior to the compliance date, U.S. importers should work with their foreign suppliers to ensure that the harvest event and supply chain records are available for any entries made on or after December 31, 2018.