U.S. Customs and Border Protection is too slow in passing on information about potential illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing imports, making it difficult for NOAA Fisheries to conduct inspections, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
NOAA Fisheries manages four separate programs designed to stop the import of IUU products, but it cooperates regularly with CBP and other agencies to target potential IUU products being shipped into the United States. In 2019, for example, CBP, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and NOAA Fisheries worked together to discover that 32 Spanish companies were mislabeling albacore tuna as bonito to avoid higher tariffs. Through that investigation, CBP was able to recover USD 600,000 (EUR 550,110) in lost tariff revenue.
According to estimates from the International Trade Commission, about 11 percent of the USD 22 billion (EUR 20 billion) worth of seafood the U.S. imported in 2019 was a product of IUU fishing. Limited resources means that the number of inspections is low compared to the volume of imports, according to NOAA Fisheries. The agency doesn’t track the number of inspections it conducts, but told GAO that 14 inspections in a month is typical…..