Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action Plan for Implementing Recommendations 14/15; Determining Types of Information and Operational Standards Related to Data Collection, 37601-37603 [2015-16185]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 126 / Wednesday, July 1, 2015 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XD991 Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action Plan for Implementing Recommendations 14/15; Determining Types of Information and Operational Standards Related to Data Collection National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) is seeking public input on the minimum types of information necessary for an effective seafood traceability program to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as the operational standards related to collecting, verifying and securing that data. SUMMARY: Comments must be received by July 31, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2014–0090, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20140090, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Melissa Beaudry, Quality Officer, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, 1315 East-West Highway, Suite 9511, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Anonymous comments will be accepted (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required field if you wish to remain anonymous.) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Beaudry, Quality Officer, Office tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection; 301–427–8308. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, published its Action Plan for Implementing the Task Force Recommendations (http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/iuu/ taskforce.html). The Action Plan articulates the steps that Federal agencies will take to implement the recommendations the Task Force made to the President in December 2014 on a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and nongovernmental organizations, and create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to point of entry into U.S. commerce, including the use of existing traceability mechanisms. The work initiated by the Task Force is now under the oversight of a National Ocean Council (NOC) Committee. The design of the traceability program will be led by an interagency working group. This notice is among the first steps in implementing Task Force Recommendations 14 and 15, specifically, developing types of information and operational standards related to data collection. The data collected will establish a foundation for the risk-based seafood traceability program to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud from harvest (wildcapture or aquaculture) to point of entry into U.S. commerce, as described in the Task Force Action Plan. This data is being collected for use by appropriate government officials. With this notice, the Committee is soliciting comments on the minimum types of information that should be collected and the operational standards to be applied to this data. The data collected should include, but is not limited to, the following information: (1) Who harvested or produced the fish? • Name of harvesting vessel; • Flag State of harvesting vessel; • Name of farm or aquaculture facility; • Name of processor; and • Type of fishing gear. (2) What fish was harvested and processed? • Species of fish; • Product description; • Name of product; PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37601 • Form of the product; and • Quantity and/or weight of the product. (3) Where and when was the fish harvested and landed? • Area of wild-capture or aquaculture harvest; • Harvest date(s); • Name and location of aquaculture facility; • Point of first landing; • Date of first landing; The Committee also believes the following information logically should be considered: (4) What was the chain of custody of the fish or fish product through the supply chain to point of entry into U.S. commerce including: • Transshipment of product; and, • Processing, re-processing, or comingling of product The Committee seeks comment regarding the information needed to answer the four questions posed above, as well as any additional information necessary for the implementation of an effective risk-based seafood traceability program. An effective traceability system must be capable of capturing a complex supply chain which may involve reprocessing, mixed species, cold storage holding, trans-shipments, etc., as well as the simple harvest of a single species. Given the scope of the traceability system anticipated in the Action Plan, additional data required for fish harvested in U.S. domestic fisheries is minimal because domestically harvested fish enters U.S. commerce at its first point of landing and, to a large extent, relevant data are already generated and reported through existing state and federal permitting, catch monitoring, and landing reports implemented under federal and state fishery management plans. At-risk species that are harvested domestically, exported for reprocessing, and then re-imported to the U.S. may require traceability throughout that entire supply chain. The Operational standards to apply to the data collected may include, but are not limited to, the following: • How the data are to be collected; • Interoperability with existing traceability systems; • Who has responsibility for collecting the data; • How the data will be verified; and • Data security. Who harvested or produced the fish? This information establishes the starting point of the traceability process. Although this information is straightforward in many cases, operational characteristics of some E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 37602 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 126 / Wednesday, July 1, 2015 / Notices fisheries present challenges. Traceability of an operation in which easily identified, individual vessels deliver directly to a buyer or processor may be relatively simple. However in a fishery with tender vessels taking deliveries from many smaller harvesting boats, collection of this information could become burdensome. In this instance, the Committee currently anticipates requiring only the name of the tender vessels making traceable deliveries to a buyer or processor. Comments are requested as to what information, if any, is necessary regarding the harvesting vessel name and flag state and authorization to harvest the species in question for the implementation of an effective traceability program. Aquacultured species are easier to trace back to a particular pond or region, and the Action Plan states that the traceability process shall start at the point of harvest. It is therefore unlikely that facility information for the raising of the breeders or the fingerlings, depending upon the fishery, will be included in the traceability program. Also, the body of water for a farm-raised species could have several aquaculture facilities in place by different companies. The Committee requests comments addressing the whether the aquaculture facility or the body of water is appropriate point of origin in a traceability system for aquacultured species. Processor and gear type are common elements in many fishery traceability systems. Processors may already be required to trace their products through some portion of the supply chain. The Committee considers information related to processing and/or reprocessing of product to be critical to tracking chain-of-custody, notes that this information is required for existing global traceability programs, and anticipates the requirement of such data as a part of this traceability program. This would include information about primary processors and secondary processors who maintained custody of the shipment prior to entering the United States. In the context of seafood traceability, gear information helps to link specific vessels to the fishery in which they participate and the species they harvest. The Committee intends to require gear type information for the proposed traceability system and requests comments as to whether and what gear type information should be collected for traceability. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 What fish was harvested and processed? A traceability system to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud requires certain minimal information, including the species of the fish, the quantity and/ or weight of the catch, and the form of the product. The state of the shipment (live, raw/fresh, or frozen) and the type of product informs the calculation of the actual amount of fish harvested, as well as the potential risk for fraud associated with the product. The Committee therefore intends to request this information and seeks comments regarding its use for traceability purposes as well as suggestions for alternative approaches to trace fish and seafood products in various forms. The Committee is considering a range of options with respect to species identification, including scientific names, names on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved list, and common or market names. Use of scientific names may minimize confusion at the border. As common or market names tend to group similar species, requiring the scientific name could dramatically increase the number of species names listed, thereby increasing the possibility of reporting error. However, using common or market names could be used to mask the import of a species at risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved list of fish names for labeling of fish in the United States may not cover all fish entering the United States and adding a market or common name to that list may take time. Comments are requested as to whether scientific names, common, usual, or market names, or some combination, should serve as the basis for species identification in the traceability program and be utilized for identifying imported product at the point of entry into U.S. commerce. Where and when was the fish harvested and landed? Collection of information identifying the area of harvest or the region in which an aquaculture facility is located, and the time at which the harvest took place, represents the initial ‘‘link’’ in the supply chain. It represents the action back to which the at-risk species entering U.S. commerce will be traced. For wild-capture fisheries, the Committee intends to identify area of harvest by FAO catch area designation or comparable designation of freshwater sources. The Committee has identified area or body of water and facility as data required for establishing where and when fish was harvested PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 from an aquaculture source. The Committee seeks comments on the adequacy of this information for identifying where and when fish is harvested, alternative data that may be useful in tracing product to time and place of harvest, and methods for verifying the accuracy of data used for this purpose. What was the chain of custody through the supply chain to point of entry into U.S. commerce? As described above, identifying the point of harvest within an area or aquaculture facility is relatively straightforward. However, the global market for fish and seafood products supports complex supply chains, including transshipment to one or more locations prior to entry into U.S. commerce. Shipments may be comingled with similar species from other locations, complicating the process of traceability to point of harvest. An effective traceability system will require information on each point of landing, transshipment and processing throughout the fish or seafood product’s chain of custody to point of entry into U.S. commerce. This would include not only the harvest for each shipment, but information regarding any further processing and transshipment that occurred prior to entry into U.S. Commerce. Comments are requested as to the level of detailed information that should be required for country of harvest, transshipment, processing and re-processing, and co-mingling of product or species. The Committee requests comments regarding the appropriate data and standards for effective traceability at each stage of the supply chain from harvest to point of entry into U.S. commerce. How the data are to be collected? The Committee recommends use of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) as the data collection portal for imports of species identified as at-risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud. In an effort to streamline the import and export process, President Obama signed an Executive Order in February 2014 that requires ITDS to be completed and fully utilized by government agencies by December 2016. ITDS is a ‘‘single window’’ system which allows businesses to communicate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) when importing and exporting goods, eliminating the often duplicative and paper-based processes used previously. With ITDS, companies submit their information electronically, and the data elements can then be E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 126 / Wednesday, July 1, 2015 / Notices quickly and efficiently retrieved and used by the Federal agencies that require them. More information on ITDS can be found at www.itds.gov. Consistency Across Federal Agencies and Interoperability With Existing International, Federal, State, and NonGovernmental Information Systems Data at the border is currently collected both in electronic and hard copy formats. Hard copies are often scanned and then stored for future use. Use of the ITDS will not only simplify the collection of data by utilizing an electronic format, but interoperability of information is assured between all Federal agencies as only one data system is employed. The Committee anticipates the collection of data in electronic format using ITDS for ease of collection. With respect to interoperability of data captured and utilized by existing information systems, it is the Committee’s intent to avoid, to the extent practicable, the establishment of redundant data collection processes or protocols that undermine the function and effectiveness of existing systems. While it is unlikely that ITDS will be capable of automatically ‘‘retrieving’’ data from existing databases, the Committee is interested in comments describing methods that will facilitate the use of existing systems to provide data identified in future traceability rule making. Comments are also requested regarding the proposed use of the ITDS, the potential use of other systems the Federal agencies should consider at the border, and if there are any barriers, known or perceived, in using the ITDS system. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Who would collect the data? Use of the ITDS system to collect proposed data elements for imports of species identified as at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud would require the importer (or exporter to the USA) to enter the information along with any necessary supporting documentation. The importer would be responsible for ensuring that the necessary data elements are collected along the supply chain and provided to CBP through ITDS at the point of entry. How will the data be verified? A key element of these operational standards is data verification. The operational standards must provide relevant Federal agencies the ability to verify that documentation for at-risk seafood products is complete and accurate upon entry into U.S. commerce, and validate country-specific documents and certifications. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 operational standards must also incorporate a system of data checks and periodic auditing. A system of traceback audits would determine the quality and accuracy of the data submitted and identify missing information and discrepancies. Comments are requested regarding a system of audits of the documentation system for quality and accuracy. Data Security As the additional data elements will be submitted through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)/ITDS single window as part of an entry filing, the supplemental data will only be accessible to the entry filer, CBP, and Federal agencies with authorization to review entry filings for the designated commodities. Consequently, data security concerns are minimal. Comments regarding additional considerations with respect to data security are requested. Following the public comment period, the NOC Committee will take the input received into consideration while finalizing recommendations that will be sent forward for appropriate agency action by September 2015, as outlined in the implementation plan for Task Force Recommendations 14 and 15. Dated: June 26, 2015. John Henderschedt, Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–16185 Filed 6–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and Related Requirements National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before August 31, 2015. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37603 Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Adam Bailey, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, (727) 824–5305, adam.bailey@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Abstract This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act authorizes the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) to prepare and amend fishery management plans for any fishery in Federal waters under their respective jurisdictions. NMFS and the Gulf Council manage the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) under the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). NMFS and the South Atlantic Council manage the fishery for rock shrimp in the South Atlantic under the Shrimp FMP. The vessel monitoring system (VMS) regulations for the Gulf reef fish fishery and the South Atlantic rock shrimp fishery may be found at 50 CFR 622.28 and 622.205, respectively. The FMPs contains several areaspecific regulations where fishing is restricted or prohibited in order to protect habitat or spawning aggregations, or to control fishing pressure. Unlike size, bag, and trip limits, where the catch can be monitored on shore when a vessel returns to port, area restrictions require at-sea enforcement. However, at-sea enforcement of offshore area restrictions is difficult due to the distance from shore and the limited number of patrol vessels, resulting in a need to improve enforceability of area fishing restrictions through remote sensing methods. In addition, all fishing gears are subject to some area fishing restrictions. Because of the sizes of these areas and the distances from shore, the effectiveness of enforcement through over flights and at-sea interception is limited. An electronic VMS allows a more effective means to monitor vessels for intrusions into restricted areas. E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 126 (Wednesday, July 1, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37601-37603]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16185]



[[Page 37601]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XD991


Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and 
Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action Plan for 
Implementing Recommendations 14/15; Determining Types of Information 
and Operational Standards Related to Data Collection

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and 
Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) is seeking public input on the minimum 
types of information necessary for an effective seafood traceability 
program to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as the 
operational standards related to collecting, verifying and securing 
that data.

DATES: Comments must be received by July 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2014-0090, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0090, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Melissa Beaudry, Quality 
Officer, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, 1315 
East-West Highway, Suite 9511, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the comment period, may not be 
considered. All comments received are part of the public record and 
will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov 
without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, 
address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise 
sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be 
publicly accessible. Anonymous comments will be accepted (enter ``N/A'' 
in the required field if you wish to remain anonymous.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Beaudry, Quality Officer, 
Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection; 301-427-8308.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task 
Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-
chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, published its Action 
Plan for Implementing the Task Force Recommendations (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/iuu/taskforce.html).
    The Action Plan articulates the steps that Federal agencies will 
take to implement the recommendations the Task Force made to the 
President in December 2014 on a comprehensive framework of integrated 
programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The plan identifies 
actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand 
partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-
governmental organizations, and create a risk-based traceability 
program to track seafood from harvest to point of entry into U.S. 
commerce, including the use of existing traceability mechanisms. The 
work initiated by the Task Force is now under the oversight of a 
National Ocean Council (NOC) Committee. The design of the traceability 
program will be led by an interagency working group.
    This notice is among the first steps in implementing Task Force 
Recommendations 14 and 15, specifically, developing types of 
information and operational standards related to data collection. The 
data collected will establish a foundation for the risk-based seafood 
traceability program to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud from 
harvest (wild-capture or aquaculture) to point of entry into U.S. 
commerce, as described in the Task Force Action Plan. This data is 
being collected for use by appropriate government officials.
    With this notice, the Committee is soliciting comments on the 
minimum types of information that should be collected and the 
operational standards to be applied to this data. The data collected 
should include, but is not limited to, the following information:
    (1) Who harvested or produced the fish?
     Name of harvesting vessel;
     Flag State of harvesting vessel;
     Name of farm or aquaculture facility;
     Name of processor; and
     Type of fishing gear.
    (2) What fish was harvested and processed?
     Species of fish;
     Product description;
     Name of product;
     Form of the product; and
     Quantity and/or weight of the product.
    (3) Where and when was the fish harvested and landed?
     Area of wild-capture or aquaculture harvest;
     Harvest date(s);
     Name and location of aquaculture facility;
     Point of first landing;
     Date of first landing;
    The Committee also believes the following information logically 
should be considered:
    (4) What was the chain of custody of the fish or fish product 
through the supply chain to point of entry into U.S. commerce 
including:
     Transshipment of product; and,
     Processing, re-processing, or co-mingling of product
    The Committee seeks comment regarding the information needed to 
answer the four questions posed above, as well as any additional 
information necessary for the implementation of an effective risk-based 
seafood traceability program. An effective traceability system must be 
capable of capturing a complex supply chain which may involve 
reprocessing, mixed species, cold storage holding, trans-shipments, 
etc., as well as the simple harvest of a single species.
    Given the scope of the traceability system anticipated in the 
Action Plan, additional data required for fish harvested in U.S. 
domestic fisheries is minimal because domestically harvested fish 
enters U.S. commerce at its first point of landing and, to a large 
extent, relevant data are already generated and reported through 
existing state and federal permitting, catch monitoring, and landing 
reports implemented under federal and state fishery management plans. 
At-risk species that are harvested domestically, exported for 
reprocessing, and then re-imported to the U.S. may require traceability 
throughout that entire supply chain.
    The Operational standards to apply to the data collected may 
include, but are not limited to, the following:
     How the data are to be collected;
     Interoperability with existing traceability systems;
     Who has responsibility for collecting the data;
     How the data will be verified; and
     Data security.

Who harvested or produced the fish?

    This information establishes the starting point of the traceability 
process. Although this information is straightforward in many cases, 
operational characteristics of some

[[Page 37602]]

fisheries present challenges. Traceability of an operation in which 
easily identified, individual vessels deliver directly to a buyer or 
processor may be relatively simple. However in a fishery with tender 
vessels taking deliveries from many smaller harvesting boats, 
collection of this information could become burdensome. In this 
instance, the Committee currently anticipates requiring only the name 
of the tender vessels making traceable deliveries to a buyer or 
processor. Comments are requested as to what information, if any, is 
necessary regarding the harvesting vessel name and flag state and 
authorization to harvest the species in question for the implementation 
of an effective traceability program.
    Aquacultured species are easier to trace back to a particular pond 
or region, and the Action Plan states that the traceability process 
shall start at the point of harvest. It is therefore unlikely that 
facility information for the raising of the breeders or the 
fingerlings, depending upon the fishery, will be included in the 
traceability program. Also, the body of water for a farm-raised species 
could have several aquaculture facilities in place by different 
companies. The Committee requests comments addressing the whether the 
aquaculture facility or the body of water is appropriate point of 
origin in a traceability system for aquacultured species.
    Processor and gear type are common elements in many fishery 
traceability systems. Processors may already be required to trace their 
products through some portion of the supply chain. The Committee 
considers information related to processing and/or reprocessing of 
product to be critical to tracking chain-of-custody, notes that this 
information is required for existing global traceability programs, and 
anticipates the requirement of such data as a part of this traceability 
program. This would include information about primary processors and 
secondary processors who maintained custody of the shipment prior to 
entering the United States.
    In the context of seafood traceability, gear information helps to 
link specific vessels to the fishery in which they participate and the 
species they harvest. The Committee intends to require gear type 
information for the proposed traceability system and requests comments 
as to whether and what gear type information should be collected for 
traceability.

What fish was harvested and processed?

    A traceability system to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud 
requires certain minimal information, including the species of the 
fish, the quantity and/or weight of the catch, and the form of the 
product. The state of the shipment (live, raw/fresh, or frozen) and the 
type of product informs the calculation of the actual amount of fish 
harvested, as well as the potential risk for fraud associated with the 
product. The Committee therefore intends to request this information 
and seeks comments regarding its use for traceability purposes as well 
as suggestions for alternative approaches to trace fish and seafood 
products in various forms.
    The Committee is considering a range of options with respect to 
species identification, including scientific names, names on the U.S. 
Food and Drug Administration approved list, and common or market names. 
Use of scientific names may minimize confusion at the border. As common 
or market names tend to group similar species, requiring the scientific 
name could dramatically increase the number of species names listed, 
thereby increasing the possibility of reporting error. However, using 
common or market names could be used to mask the import of a species at 
risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud. The U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration approved list of fish names for labeling of fish in the 
United States may not cover all fish entering the United States and 
adding a market or common name to that list may take time. Comments are 
requested as to whether scientific names, common, usual, or market 
names, or some combination, should serve as the basis for species 
identification in the traceability program and be utilized for 
identifying imported product at the point of entry into U.S. commerce.

Where and when was the fish harvested and landed?

    Collection of information identifying the area of harvest or the 
region in which an aquaculture facility is located, and the time at 
which the harvest took place, represents the initial ``link'' in the 
supply chain. It represents the action back to which the at-risk 
species entering U.S. commerce will be traced. For wild-capture 
fisheries, the Committee intends to identify area of harvest by FAO 
catch area designation or comparable designation of fresh-water 
sources. The Committee has identified area or body of water and 
facility as data required for establishing where and when fish was 
harvested from an aquaculture source. The Committee seeks comments on 
the adequacy of this information for identifying where and when fish is 
harvested, alternative data that may be useful in tracing product to 
time and place of harvest, and methods for verifying the accuracy of 
data used for this purpose.

What was the chain of custody through the supply chain to point of 
entry into U.S. commerce?

    As described above, identifying the point of harvest within an area 
or aquaculture facility is relatively straightforward. However, the 
global market for fish and seafood products supports complex supply 
chains, including transshipment to one or more locations prior to entry 
into U.S. commerce. Shipments may be co-mingled with similar species 
from other locations, complicating the process of traceability to point 
of harvest. An effective traceability system will require information 
on each point of landing, transshipment and processing throughout the 
fish or seafood product's chain of custody to point of entry into U.S. 
commerce. This would include not only the harvest for each shipment, 
but information regarding any further processing and transshipment that 
occurred prior to entry into U.S. Commerce. Comments are requested as 
to the level of detailed information that should be required for 
country of harvest, transshipment, processing and re-processing, and 
co-mingling of product or species. The Committee requests comments 
regarding the appropriate data and standards for effective traceability 
at each stage of the supply chain from harvest to point of entry into 
U.S. commerce.

How the data are to be collected?

    The Committee recommends use of the International Trade Data System 
(ITDS) as the data collection portal for imports of species identified 
as at-risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud. In an effort to streamline 
the import and export process, President Obama signed an Executive 
Order in February 2014 that requires ITDS to be completed and fully 
utilized by government agencies by December 2016. ITDS is a ``single 
window'' system which allows businesses to communicate with U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its Partner Government Agencies 
(PGAs) when importing and exporting goods, eliminating the often 
duplicative and paper-based processes used previously. With ITDS, 
companies submit their information electronically, and the data 
elements can then be

[[Page 37603]]

quickly and efficiently retrieved and used by the Federal agencies that 
require them. More information on ITDS can be found at www.itds.gov.

Consistency Across Federal Agencies and Interoperability With Existing 
International, Federal, State, and Non-Governmental Information Systems

    Data at the border is currently collected both in electronic and 
hard copy formats. Hard copies are often scanned and then stored for 
future use. Use of the ITDS will not only simplify the collection of 
data by utilizing an electronic format, but interoperability of 
information is assured between all Federal agencies as only one data 
system is employed. The Committee anticipates the collection of data in 
electronic format using ITDS for ease of collection. With respect to 
interoperability of data captured and utilized by existing information 
systems, it is the Committee's intent to avoid, to the extent 
practicable, the establishment of redundant data collection processes 
or protocols that undermine the function and effectiveness of existing 
systems. While it is unlikely that ITDS will be capable of 
automatically ``retrieving'' data from existing databases, the 
Committee is interested in comments describing methods that will 
facilitate the use of existing systems to provide data identified in 
future traceability rule making. Comments are also requested regarding 
the proposed use of the ITDS, the potential use of other systems the 
Federal agencies should consider at the border, and if there are any 
barriers, known or perceived, in using the ITDS system.

Who would collect the data?

    Use of the ITDS system to collect proposed data elements for 
imports of species identified as at risk of IUU fishing and seafood 
fraud would require the importer (or exporter to the USA) to enter the 
information along with any necessary supporting documentation. The 
importer would be responsible for ensuring that the necessary data 
elements are collected along the supply chain and provided to CBP 
through ITDS at the point of entry.

How will the data be verified?

    A key element of these operational standards is data verification. 
The operational standards must provide relevant Federal agencies the 
ability to verify that documentation for at-risk seafood products is 
complete and accurate upon entry into U.S. commerce, and validate 
country-specific documents and certifications. The operational 
standards must also incorporate a system of data checks and periodic 
auditing. A system of trace-back audits would determine the quality and 
accuracy of the data submitted and identify missing information and 
discrepancies. Comments are requested regarding a system of audits of 
the documentation system for quality and accuracy.

Data Security

    As the additional data elements will be submitted through the 
Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)/ITDS single window as part of an 
entry filing, the supplemental data will only be accessible to the 
entry filer, CBP, and Federal agencies with authorization to review 
entry filings for the designated commodities. Consequently, data 
security concerns are minimal. Comments regarding additional 
considerations with respect to data security are requested.
    Following the public comment period, the NOC Committee will take 
the input received into consideration while finalizing recommendations 
that will be sent forward for appropriate agency action by September 
2015, as outlined in the implementation plan for Task Force 
Recommendations 14 and 15.

    Dated: June 26, 2015.
John Henderschedt,
Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-16185 Filed 6-30-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P