Importers must complete NOAA Form 370, Fisheries Certificate of Origin (PDF, 2 pages), for all imports of frozen and/or processed tuna and tuna products. This form is not required for fresh tuna. Importers must submit the form to U.S. Customs and Border Protection before or at the time of importation via the Automated Commercial Environment system. It is important for importers to properly and completely fill out all NOAA Form 370s.
For tuna harvested by purse seine vessels with a carrying capacity over 400 short tons (362.8 metric tons) in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, importers must also submit an International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) Member Nation Certification for each applicable vessel fishing trip through the ACE Document Imaging System (PDF, 1 page).
Instructions for completing NOAA Form 370 are found on page 2 of the form. U.S. Customs and Border Protection may delay or reject the filed paperwork if forms are incomplete.
For fishing trips—other than those in eastern tropical Pacific—by large purse seine vessels with a carrying capacity of more than 400 short tons, the vessel captain must sign and submit the following statements for the tuna to be certified as dolphin-safe:
Importers of frozen and/or processed tuna and tuna products must now also possess an International Fisheries Trade Permit. More information, including instructions on how to apply for this permit, can be found on our International Trade Program page and in this letter to importers/exporters (PDF, 2 pages).
Importers are no longer required to mail hard copies of NOAA Form 370 and related documentation to the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program office within 10 days of entry. Instead, the importer’s ACE-certified Customs broker must now submit NOAA Form 370, as well as applicable Captain's statements and/or International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) Member Nation certifications, via the ACE Document Imaging System before or at the time of importation. View page 57 of the ACE Document Imaging System submission guidelines (PDF, 83 pages) for more information.
In addition, the Customs broker must also submit select fisheries information and the importer's International Fisheries Trade permit number in a NOAA Fisheries Partner Government Agency Message Set (i.e. data set) through ACE, following U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Partner Government Agency Message Set guidelines (PDF, 25 pages).
On September 28, 2016, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries issued a determination—under the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act—of regular and significant mortality and serious injury of dolphins in gillnet fisheries harvesting tuna by vessels flagged under the governments of India, Iran, Mozambique, Pakistan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. This determination triggered additional documentation requirements for tuna products marketed or labeled as dolphin-safe that were harvested on fishing trips that began on or after November 28, 2016.
Additional documentation requirements include an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission observer statement. Currently, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has not determined any observer programs for gillnet fisheries and tuna vessels in the above-named governments to be acceptable (see Determination of Observer Programs as Qualified and Authorized by the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries).
Therefore, until further notice, importers interested in importing such tuna into the United States will be unable to satisfy current documentary requirements for dolphin-safe tuna products.
Italy is no longer identified as a large-scale high seas driftnet nation (see Federal Register notice). Therefore, NOAA Form 370 is not required for non-tuna products specified in regulations at 50 CFR 216.24(f)(2)(iii). NOAA Form 370 is still required for all imports of frozen and/or processed tuna and tuna products, including those from Italy, but an Italian government representative is no longer required to certify the form with a signature and date..