NOAA Fisheries Implements 'Informed Compliance' Approach for Seafood Import Monitoring Program

NOAA Fisheries will initially adopt an “informed compliance” approach to its implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). Working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), NOAA Fisheries will help filers in facilitating their full and timely compliance with SIMP without impeding the release and clearance of shipments that may be somewhat deficient or misconfigured at the time of Entry filing. If submissions with SIMP data are rejected and cannot be resolved in a timely manner they may be refiled under the same Entry without the SIMP data message set and will be released with a “PGA DATA MSNG FOR HTS – NO ACTION REQD” warning for the SIMP program as long as all requirements for other (non-SIMP) NOAA Fisheries programs and those required for other agency programs are correct. Incomplete or erroneous non-SIMP Entry/Entry Summary filings must be corrected before they will be accepted. Filers are also reminded that the SIMP program includes a records retention provision, and all entries subject to SIMP may be audited and will be subject to enforcement action beginning January 1, 2018.

Any SIMP filings that are released without a full and correct SIMP message set must be corrected as soon as possible and updated in ITDS in accordance with the CBP Entry process. Incomplete filings that are not corrected in a timely manner will be targeted for a full chain of custody audit. Those engaged in the import, export or re-export of covered species must also comply with all other requirements of NOAA trade monitoring programs including the TTVP/NOAA 370, HMS ITP, and AMLR trade program.

If submissions with SIMP data are rejected and cannot be resolved by the filer, filers are encouraged to contact NOAA Fisheries at or call the SIMP Support Line at 301-427-8301 with an explanation of the problem.

On January 9th, 2017, regulations requiring the electronic filing of certain data and documents on the import of certain fisheries products under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) became effective. See 50 CFR Part 300, Subpart Q. SIMP compliance will be effective January 1, 2018. This announcement is to reiterate the requirements and the expectations of NOAA Fisheries (National Marine Fisheries Service/NMFS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that all filings covered by the regulations must comply with the electronic filing requirements on January 1, 2018. Over the last year, NOAA Fisheries has worked with importers, exporters, brokers/filers, software developers and other stakeholders to facilitate compliance with the new regulations. Ongoing efforts have been underway to ensure that filers have the awareness, understanding and support necessary to correctly file data electronically in compliance with the new regulations. NOAA Fisheries intends to transition away from these informed compliance measures as soon as possible and will offer further guidance regarding the duration of these measures. At such time, all SIMP data will be required in order for an entry to receive a “may proceed.” Filers are strongly encouraged to aggressively assure that they are in compliance immediately.