Attention Seafood Importers | New SIMP Regulations Effective January 2019



Seafood Importers

On January 1st, 2019, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) will change.

Do your Seafood Imports fall under the new SIMP regulations?

Your import will be regulated by SIMP if you import any of the following products:

  • Atlantic Cod
  • Blue Crab (Atlantic Crab)
  • Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi)
  • Grouper
  • King Crab (Red Crab)
  • Pacific Cod
  • Red Snapper
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Sharks
  • Shrimp*
  • Swordfish and Tunas (Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Yellowfin, and Bluefin)
  • Abalone*

*Abalone and Shrimp will now be required to report as of January 1st, 2019.

When does SIMP reporting become mandatory?

The effective date for SIMP is Monday January 1st, 2018. The effective date for SIMP regarding Abalone and Shrimp is January 1st, 2019.

Are U.S. goods that are exported and returned exempt from SIMP?

U.S. goods are NOT exempt from SIMP. It is a safe precaution to obtain required information for even your U.S. goods, as it is hard to foresee if they will leave the country and then be re-entered.  

Is there an official form to be completed for SIMP?

No, there is no official form to be completed for your imports under SIMP. There is a model catch certificate that, when completed, will provide all of the necessary information required to file your entry. We strongly suggest using this template to avoid shipment delays.

Who must obtain the International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) required to file SIMP?

Under the rules and regulations of SIMP, to apply for the IFTP you must be a U.S. Resident. This does not mean that a foreign importer cannot clear goods regulated under SIMP, it simply means they will require to have a company or individual in the U.S. obtain a permit on their behalf and act as their permittee. The permittee must be listed as such on the U.S. Customs invoice, and under SIMP will be considered to be the Importer of Record (IOR). The IFTP holder is responsible for obtaining and retaining all required documents and information required under SIMP at the time of import.

The IOR under SIMP is not the same as the IOR for U.S. Customs purposes. The non-resident company can still act as the IOR with U.S. Customs, clearing the entry under their name and bond. However, the SIMP information and permit (held by the SIMP IOR) must be a U.S. Company. You can apply for your permit on the IFTP website.

Who is legally responsible for goods imported under SIMP?

The entity responsible for retaining and providing the required documentation is the permit holder, also referred to as the Importer of Record under SIMP.  The party that holds the International Fisheries Trade Permit is responsible for having all information required under SIMP readily available upon request at the time of import into the U.S.

What additional information am I required to report on my shipments to the U.S.?

  1. Three letter Alpha Code that represents the Genus and Species of your product must be listed on the catch certificate. The spreadsheet to obtain the appropriate Alpha Code can be accessed here
  2. Name and Flag State in which the vessel is registered. The Flag State is the country the vessel is registered under and must be listed on the catch certificate
  3. Evidence of authorization to fish – For example, your License to Fish or Business Number
  4. Vessel Identifier – IMO number (International Marine Organization)
  5. Fishing Gear Used. For example Longline, Handline pole etc…
  6. Landing Date
  7. Product form, quantity and weight at time of landing
  8. Area of harvest or capture
  9. Point of first landing
  10. The Receiver at time of landing

Can I start sending the information on my Shrimp and Abalone shipments now?

Yes, you are encouraged to start complying with the regulation on shrimp and abalone now so the transition into mandatory reporting will be seamless.

If my goods are subject to NOAA Form 370 reporting am I still required to report under the SIMP regulations?

Yes, goods subject under NOAA Form 370 will also be subject to SIMP reporting starting January 1st, 2018. Some of the information on the NOAA Form 370, will apply to SIMP as well. It is a good idea to cross reference the catch certificate with your NOAA Form 370 to make sure all of the information is completed and you are compliant with both program requirements.

If my goods qualify as a Section 321, do I still have to file an entry?

Due to limitations with U.S. Customs software, all goods that require SIMP reporting will require a formal entry, Section 321’s will not be allowed.

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