Indian exporters are gearing up to comply with the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) regulations on shrimp by USA. SIMP will be enforced on Indian shrimp exports to USA from January 1, 2019 and this has unnerved the exporters.
SIMP requires traceability information on imported seafood from point of capture to the point of first sale in the US in order to thwart Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activity. It is mandatory for foreign shrimp products to be accompanied by harvest and landing data and for importers to maintain chain of custody records for shrimp imports entering the USA.
“There has been an increase in compliance cost as documentary evidence needs to be provided for every container regarding its traceability for exports to United States. It is too early to say the impact of SIMP on exports to United States. We have already initiated the documentation of shipments targeting the SIMP that will come into effect from January 1, 2019", said Aditya Dash, managing director, Ram's Assorted Cold Storage Ltd, a leading export company in Odisha.
With the implementation of the new monitoring program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of USA gets authority to perform audits of the harvest and chain of custody information provided by importers.
Trade sources say that smaller exporters may find it extremely difficult to ship to United States- the largest market of the India seafood exports sector valued at $7 billion.
"It is a move of the Trump administration to provide level playing to its domestic producers. However, USA shrimp production is not sufficient to meet the demand of their market. It is a kind of non tariff barrier imposed by US to discourage imports", said another exporter.
US is the major market for Indian seafood with a share of 32per cent . In the last fiscal, USA imported seafood worth $2,320.05 million. Frozen shrimp is the principal item exported to USA with a share of 95.03 per cent in dollar value.