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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BK06 Publication ID: Spring 2022 
Title: Revisions to the Fish Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 

NMFS is amending regulations that implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act Import Provisions (50 CFR 216.24(h)) to extend the interim exemption period from five years to six years and to change the deadline for nations to apply for a Comparability Finding from March 1 to November 30. NMFS established the five-year exemption period to allow trading partners time to develop, implement, or improve domestic marine mammal bycatch mitigation programs that are comparable in effectiveness to U.S. standards prior to applying for a Comparability Finding.  In many cases, foreign nations were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to implement legislation and/or develop regulatory programs to mitigate marine mammal bycatch were delayed by the disruption of government operations. This action would extend the interim exemption period by an additional year (March 1, 2021 to March 1, 2022). In addition, this action would shift the March 1 deadline for nations to apply for a Comparability Finding to November 30, 2022 in the preceding year to allow NMFS additional time to process and review Comparability Finding applications before the regulation enters into full effect.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 216   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1371 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  11/03/2020  85 FR 69515   
Interim Final Rule Effective  11/03/2020 
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  12/03/2020 
Final Action  06/00/2022 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
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: No 
Agency Contact:
Alexa Cole
Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8286