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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BF09 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Import Monitoring Program 
Abstract: On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, published its action plan to implement Task Force recommendations for a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud. The plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations, and create a traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce, including the use of existing traceability mechanisms. As part of that plan, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposes regulatory changes to improve the administration of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act prohibition on the entry into interstate or foreign commerce of any fish taken in violation of any foreign law or regulation. The rule includes adjustments to permitting and reporting requirements to provide for traceability of seafood products offered for entry into the U.S. supply chain, and to ensure that these products were lawfully acquired and are properly labeled. Requirements for an international trade permit and reporting on the origin of certain imported or exported fishery products were previously established by regulations applicable to a number of specified fishery products. This rulemaking would extend those existing permitting and reporting requirements to additional fish species and seafood products. 
Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 300    50 CFR 600   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1857   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act prohibits the importation and trade in interstate commerce of fishery products from fish caught in violation of any foreign law or regulation.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Alternatives: An alternative to this rulemaking that would diminish the incentives for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing would be through cooperation and assistance programs. While the U.S. has developed effective fisheries management and enforcement techniques and applied these in many fisheries, there is no guarantee that these methods will be widely adopted in foreign fisheries. Technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of monitoring, control and surveillance measures would not be precluded by this rulemaking, but market access incentives will increase the likelihood of action by harvesting nations exporting to the U.S.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Potential benefits of this rulemaking include: an incentive for exporting nations to adopt and implement fisheries regulatory and enforcement standards, including monitoring, control and surveillance measures that are comparable to the U.S. as a condition for access to the U.S. seafood market, enhanced fisheries conservation for shared and transboundary stocks, especially high seas stocks, and a safe and sustainable seafood supply for the U.S. market.. Anticipated costs include: increased administrative costs to the U.S. government for monitoring U.S. imports and making determinations about lawful acquisition of fisheries products; increased requests for international cooperation and assistance to implement fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance measures. Additionally, U.S. importers and fish processors may incur incremental costs for recordkeeping and reporting.

Risks: Prohibiting imports from seafood exporting nations for which lawful acquisition cannot be established will diminish the risk of further declines in global fisheries stocks that are affected by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/05/2016  81 FR 6210   
NPRM Comment Period End  04/05/2016 
Final Action  11/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Related RINs: Related to 0648-AX63 
Agency Contact:
John Henderschedt
Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East-West Highway, Room 10362,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8314