The United States has strict regulations surrounding the import of wild-caught shrimp or products from shrimp harvested with commercial fishing technology, all laid out in Section 609 of Public Law 101-162. However, recent Federal Register Notices presented some good news to the fishing industry, as the Department of State certified certain countries and particular fisheries for eligibility to export shrimp to the US. In this article, we’ll discuss which nations were granted eligibility for US imports and the specific regulations that apply to importing these products into the country.
Shrimp Import Prohibitions
Imports of wild-caught shrimp or products from shrimp harvested with commercial fishing technology are prohibited by Section 609 of Public Law 101–162, unless the Department of State certifies to the Congress annually that either:
- The harvesting nation has adopted a regulatory program governing the incidental taking of relevant species of sea turtles in the course of commercial shrimp harvesting that is comparable to that of the United States and that the average rate of that incidental taking by the vessels of the harvesting nation is comparable to the average rate of incidental taking of sea turtles by United States vessels in the course of such harvesting; or
- The particular fishing environment of the harvesting nation does not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles in the course of shrimp harvesting.
In a Federal Register Notice dated 5/25/2023, it was announced that the Department of State certified to Congress that wild-caught shrimp harvested in the following nations, particular fisheries of certain nations, and Hong Kong are eligible to enter the United States: Argentina, Australia (Northern Prawn Fishery, the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery, the Spencer Gulf, and the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery), the Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, France (French Guiana), Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy (giant red shrimp), Jamaica, Japan (shrimp baskets in Hokkaido), Republic of Korea (mosquito nets), Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Russia, Spain (Mediterranean red shrimp), Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.
Shrimp Import Requirements
A completed Form DS–2031 “Shrimp Exporter’s/Importer’s Declaration” must accompany all imports of shrimp and products from shrimp into the United States.
State also determined that shrimp and products from shrimp harvested in the Spencer Gulf region in Australia, with shrimp baskets in Hokkaido, Japan, with “mosquito” nets in the Republic of Korea, Mediterranean red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus) and products from that shrimp harvested in the Mediterranean Sea in Spain, and giant red shrimp (Aristaeomorpha foliacea) and products from that shrimp harvested in Italy may be imported into the United States under the DS–2031 Box 7(A)(4) provision.
In conclusion, the US government’s regulations on importing wild-caught shrimp or products from shrimp harvested with commercial fishing technology are an essential part of protecting the nation’s economic and environmental interests. However, the recent Federal Register Notices provide some exciting opportunities for the US import market, particularly in Australia, Canada, Chile, and Spain. It is vital for businesses to stay up-to-date on these regulations, including the requirement to complete a Form DS-2031 for all shrimp imports, and to be aware of the specific provisions for importing shrimp from certain regions in Australia, Japan, Italy, and Spain. By staying informed and compliant with these rules, businesses can take advantage of these opportunities and continue to participate in the global shrimp trade while ensuring the sustainability of the industry and the protection of the environment.
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