US to crack down on illegal shrimp imports

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 08:23

SIMP also allows NOAA and related agencies to check mandatory supply chain information provided by importers. — Photo

The US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed that foreign shrimp and abalone will be added to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) beginning on January 1, 2019.

The SIMP requires importers to report traceability information on imported seafood from point of capture to point of first sale in the US in order to thwart illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity.

Accordingly, American shrimp importers have until December 31, 2018 to comply with the regulations under the SIMP programme.

Specifically, shrimp importers must be US citizens. They are required to obtain an International Fisheries Trade Permit, submit harvest and landing information on those products to the USA Customs and Border Protection International Trade Data System prior to entering the USA and maintain supply chain records from the point of harvest to the point of entry into the USA for a period of two years.

The SIMP also allows NOAA and related agencies to check mandatory supply chain information provided by importers.

This will strengthen US government efforts to combat IUU fishing and a range of fraudulent activities in the shrimp import chain attributed to dishonest importers who violate US consumer safety laws and trade.

Shrimp imports may involve a range of illegal activities, including illegal IUU fishing; use of dangerous and illegal antibiotics in farms abroad; employing slave labor on international fishing vessels, shrimp farms and processing plants; evasion of US anti-dumping duties and noncompliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety laws.

Viet Nam’s shrimp exports to the US in the coming time are expected to face many challenges.

Last year, the US market dropped to the fourth among the top leading buyers of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for only 17 per cent of Viet Nam’s total shrimp exports.

According to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2018, Viet Nam’s shrimp exports to the US are showing more positive signs. In the first two months of 2018, shrimp exports to the US reached US$75 million, up 6.6 per cent over the same period in 2017. The US had risen to the second rank behind the EU among top importers of Vietnamese shrimp. — VNS

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