US Seafood Import Monitoring Program


NOAA Fisheries recently published its final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) last December 9, 2016. The program establishes for imports of certain seafood products, the reporting and recordkeeping requirements needed to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)-caught and/or misrepresented seafood from entering the U.S. market. This will require US exporters to provide and report key data, from the point of harvest to the point of entry into U.S. market, of exported fish and fishery products. The effective date of the program will be on January 1, 2018.

In an effort to provide the industry awareness of and compliance with the Program’s traceability data reporting and record keeping requirements, SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII) in partnership with the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership held an orientation seminar on US NOAA Seafood Import Monitoring Program on November 23, 2017.  With the impeding implementation of the program this coming January 1, 2018, all seven (7) canneries (Citramina Canning Corporation, Philbest Canning Corporation, Oceans Canning Corporation, Seatrade Canning Corporation, General Tuna Canning Corporation, Alliance Select Foods International Inc., Celebes Canning Corp) and members of the Fresh Frozen Seafood Association of the Philippines (Sta. Cruz Seafood Inc, Rell and Renn Seafood Sphere Inc, Ten Point Manufacturing Corporation, Mommy Gina Tuna Resources, and PhilCinmic Industrial Corp) were present during the seminar.

The invited speaker Ms. Heather V. Brandon from NOAA's Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection spoke to the participants through video conferencing. She discussed the required key data to be collected and reported—from harvest to the point of entry to the US market- by the exporter to the US importer, the initial list of imported fish and fish products that have been identified, and the model catch certificate with the required information from the harvest event.

Ms. Brandon also highlighted the use of an aggregate harvest report for small scale fisheries--twelve meters in length or less or 20 gross tons or less. The collection of data can be per harvest at a single collection point in a single calendar day or by landing by a vessel to which catches of small-scale vessels were made at sea. This information is very important as some of the supplies of the fresh frozen processors are from municipal small scale fisheries as raised by Ms. Marife Quiam of PhilCinmic Industrial Corp.

One of the most pressing issue also as raised by Ten Point Manufacturing was the scheduled deliveries of the month (November) that will enter the US Market on Janaury 1, 2018. Ms. Brandon highlighted during the open forum that these deliveries will need to have proper and complete documentation in compliance to the US SIMP if they will reach the US Market on January 1.
Recognizing the need to communicate the program’s requirements to their municipal fisher suppliers, the Fresh Frozen Seafood Association of the Philippines called for a separate meeting with their suppliers.


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US Seafood Import Monitoring Program
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