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H.R. 1012 (113th): Safety And Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 6, 2013.

Safety And Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act - Requires the Secretaries of Commerce and Health and Human Services (HHS) to execute a memorandum of understanding to improve interagency cooperation on seafood safety and fraud prevention, building upon any prior agreement, including those under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Includes in such a memorandum processes concerning efficient use of inspection personnel, intergovernmental cooperation, use of data, and utilization of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Seafood Inspection Program as a third-party auditor to inspect imported seafood.

Establishes coordination requirements for: (1) the use of the national sea grant college program for outreach activities, and (2) the collection of information to prevent seafood fraud. Defines "seafood fraud" as the mislabeling or misrepresentation of seafood information required under this Act or other applicable federal laws and regulations.

Requires, of the fishery management plan data required to be submitted in the course of fish processing, certain minimum information, in addition to catch locations, to accompany seafood through final sale (on the packaging display or otherwise) including market and species names, harvest method, catch date, and product weight or number. Directs additional information to be provided for seafood that was: (1) previously frozen, treated with substances affecting weight, or processed in a country other than that in which it was landed or harvested; or (2) farm-raised, with details regarding the country and method of cultivation as well as the location of the aquaculture production area. Exempts importers, processors, distributors, or retailers from violations for unknowingly selling a product that was already mislabeled upon receipt, provided that such entities can produce the appropriate product traceability documentation.

Provides standards for refusal of admission of imported seafood based upon findings that any shipment appears to be in violation of such seafood traceability requirements or other applicable federal laws or regulations.

Provides procedures for import certifications and allowance of individual shipments in certain cases.

Requires a public website to list exporters of seafood to the United States and track violations.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce to increase the number of shipments inspected for seafood fraud by NOAA inspectors and authorized officers, prevent the percentage of seafood shipments inspected from declining in a subsequent year, and ensure that inspections for fraud prevention also collect seafood safety information.

Allows civil actions by states for seafood fraud violations.

Requires the Secretaries to report to Congress biennially on seafood safety and seafood fraud prevention measures.