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Shrimp slated to be included in SIMP by 12/31/18

The history SIMP for shrimp and what you can do to affect its implementation

Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) regulations will soon become mandatory for shrimp imported into the United States. A joint project between U.S. Customs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), SIMP is an electronic traceability program. The addition of shrimp to SIMP may impact your seafood business and American consumers.

This article will cover the history of SIMP for shrimp, what additional data you will need in order to clear U.S. Customs, and how you may have your voice heard during this critical implementation process.

Brief History of SIMP

SIMP for shrimp has a three-part history:

1. When SIMP was initially approved in December 2016, shrimp compliance was explicitly postponed. This was due to conflicts with a World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty. The treaty prohibits imports from having more technical regulations that domestic products. SIMP for shrimp was initially postponed, as it would regulate imports more than domestic products.

2. In July 2017, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) proposed Senate Bill 1662. Section 513 of this bill would have required shrimp importers to develop new electronic traceability systems within 30 days. We previously argued that this requirement would have caused many shrimp shipments to be put on hold in ports or downright rejected. This bill ultimately died in Congress.

3. SIMP for shrimp was passed in Section 539 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018. The biggest change from Senate Bill 1662 in that “The compliance date for the species shall occur not later than December 31, 2018.” Additionally, NOAA will create federal traceability requirements for domestically produced shrimp to be compliant with the aforementioned WTO treaty. This should give shrimp importers and processors more time to become compliant.

How SIMP Works and What Data You’ll Need

The importer of record is required to use a program called the automated commercial environment (ACE). Within ACE, the importer of record will need to work with processors to track several new inputs and keep these records a minimum of 2 years. These electronic records are protected as confidential under both the Trade Secrets Act as well as the Magnussen-Stevens Act.

Below are the records to input for both aquaculture and wild-caught shrimp (and every other species covered by SIMP). For more information, visit NOAA’s Model Catch Form.

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