Observer Fee Collection - North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Fisheries Observer Program
Summary of the observer fee collection program, fee determination and payment process.
- Since 2013, Alaska processors and registered buyers have been required to pay an ex-vessel value-based fee to NOAA Fisheries to support the funding and deployment of observers on vessels and in plants in the partial observer coverage category
- The ex-vessel value-based fee is intended to be split evenly between the vessel owner/operator and the processor or registered buyer.
- The observer fee is 1.25% of the ex-vessel value of the groundfish and halibut subject to the fee through December 31, 2020. Beginning Jan 1, 2021, the observer fee is 1.65% (85 FR 41424, July 10, 2020).
- Ex-vessel value is based on standard ex-vessel prices from prior years.
- The fee liability starts to accrue on January 1st of each calendar year. The fee submission by processors and registered buyers for annual landings is due to NOAA Fisheries by February 15th of the next calendar year.
- Full payment of the observer fee liability is required before NOAA Fisheries will issue a new or renewed Federal Processor Permit (FPP) or Registered Buyer permit.