NOAA Proposes to Expand Seafood Import Monitoring Program

Trade Update • January 10, 2023

he U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a proposed rule to expand the types of seafood subject to the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), which currently only covers around 40% of seafood imports.

This proposed rule aims to add species to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) that was established according to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). NOAA proposes expanding the types of seafood covered by SIMP, including additional tuna and snapper species, cuttlefish, squid, octopuses, eels, queen conch, and Caribbean spiny lobster, with the possibility of including all conch and spiny lobster species.

In addition, this proposed rule would:

  • Amend the SIMP regulations to clarify the responsibilities of the importer of record
  • Amend the definition of importer of record to align with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) definition more closely
  • Amend the language requiring a chain of custody records to be made available for audit or inspection to add a requirement that such records be made available through digital means if requested by NMFS
  • Clarify the Aggregated Harvest Report criteria
  • Clarify the application of SIMP requirements to imports into the Pacific Insular Areas

Have Your Say

The Department of Commerce is accepting comments on the proposed rule until March 28, 2023.

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to and enter NOAA-NMFS-2022-0119 in the Search box. Click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Questions about if this new proposed rule will affect your imports and/or what comments to submit? Please contact us, we’re here to help.


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