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NOAA Fisheries Releases Final Rule for Electronic Reporting of Trade Data

NOAA Fisheries published a final rule establishing regulations to integrate the collection of trade documentation within the International Trade Data System, and requiring electronic information through a single automated portal. The effective date for implementation is September 20, 2016.

President Obama, by Executive Order in 2014--Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses--mandated the use of a single electronic system, the International Trade Data System (ITDS), to streamline transactions for the import and export of products regulated by any U.S. Federal Agency. This rule enables NOAA Fisheries to meet this mandate, by streamlining and consolidating its procedures and trade documentation requirements for certain fishery products, establishing regulations which integrate the collection of trade documentation within ITDS, and requiring information be submitted through a single electronic portal.

As part of its mission to sustainably manage fishery resources, NOAA Fisheries implements international trade monitoring programs initiated by international fishery management organizations or required by domestic law. With seafood imports currently representing approximately 90 percent of U.S. seafood supplies, these trade monitoring programs are a crucial tool for NOAA to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishery products from entering the United States.

The ITDS is an important step in the longer-term implementation of a risk-based approach to seafood traceability. By consolidating existing international trade permits under the Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) Program and Highly Migratory Species International Trade Program (HMS ITP), and expanding the scope to include regulated seafood products under the Tuna Tracking Verification Program (TTVP), a single consolidated permit will also provide a more streamlined and cost-effective approach for collecting import and export documentation.

U.S. consumers can have even greater confidence that their seafood is legally caught as ITDS will allow NOAA Fisheries to better identify and stop shipments of illegally caught seafood more effectively. 

Resource Materials/Links

NOAA Fisheries' Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection hosted two public webinar meetings to further engage with interested stakeholders about this regulation and its implications. Materials from those webinars will be posted below:

Webinars

Presentation  (PDF)          
August 18, 2016:              Audio             Transcript  (PDF)
September 1, 2016:         Audio             Transcript  (PDF)