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Act on Ensuring the Proper Domestic Distribution and Importation of Specified Aquatic Animals and Plants


Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing constitutes one of the most serious threats to the sustainable use of fishery resources. Preventing IUU catches from entering domestic supply chains is recognized as an effective measure to combat IUU fishing. In 2010, the European Union (EU) introduced a European Community catch certification scheme (the EU catch certification scheme), which requires all marine fishery products imported into the EU to be accompanied by catch certificate. In 2018, the United States (US) established reporting and recordkeeping requirements for importing specified seafood species groups under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).

Japan, one of the world's largest importers of fishery products, along with the EU and the US, has no specific regulations in place to prevent IUU catches from entering the country except for tuna, tuna-like species, and tooth fish. It exposes Japan to be a potentially attractive market for IUU fishing operators. In recent years, the number of poaching by people who do not have fishing rights such as organized crime groups has been increasing in Japan.

Under these circumstances, the bill for the Act on Ensuring the Proper Domestic Distribution and Importation of Specified Aquatic Animals and Plants (the Act) has been unanimously passed and enacted at the 203rd Extraordinary Session of the Diet. The Act was promulgated on December 11, 2020, and is scheduled to enter into force on December 1, 2022.

Documents

1. Regulation on Japanese Domestic Market (Class I Aquatic Animals and Plants)

Class I Aquatic Animals and Plants (Class I) is defined as group of aquatic animals and plants designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (the Minister) that are particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing in Japan and in need for conservation and management measures.

When trading Class I in Japan, a business operator shall provide a notification, convey a catch number of Class I, and prepare and retain transaction records of the Class I, including species name, weight or quantity, date(s) of trading(s), trading partner(s), catch number.

In exporting Class I, a legal harvest certificate issued by the Minister which validates that the catch is not in violation of the Fishery Act and other relevant regulations in Japan shall be attached. In order to apply for the certificate, information on the products to be exported, including all the transaction records of the products shall be provided.

This measure does not require foreign governments to take any additional procedures when importing Class I from Japan.

 2. Import Regulation "Japan's Catch Documentation Scheme" (Class II Aquatic Animals and Plants)

Class II Aquatic Animals and Plants (Class II) is defined as group of aquatic animals and plants designated by the Minister that are particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing by foreign flagged vessels under foreign laws or international conservation and management measures, which needs to be managed under import regulation.

Class II shall not be imported into Japan without a catch certificate issued by the competent authority of flag State of the vessel catching Class II to certify that they were caught legally and other document(s) provided for in the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Ordinance).

Please note that this catch documentation scheme is developed based on the EU catch certification scheme.


Documents

  • See TECHNICAL NOTE(ver2.0)(PDF : 621KB) for the details of the catch documentation scheme 
  • Frequently Asked Questions on the implementation of the catch documentation scheme for technical advice to administrators and operators (to be prepared)

Video

  •  Please click here to watch a YouTube video which provides an overview of the catch documentation scheme
  

Information on Flag State notification (List of Flag States and their competent authorities) 

Flag States which complete the Flag State notifications and issue the catch certificate

Flag States Competent Authorities
Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Office
Chile NATIONAL FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE SERVICE, SERNAPESCA
China Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Estonia Agriculture and Food Board, Ministry of Rural Affairs
France Pôle national de validation des certificats de capture à l’export
Germany Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Enährung)
Iceland Fiskistofa, Directorate of Fisheries
Indonesia Directorate General of Capture Fisheries and Directorate General of Product Competitiveness
Korea National Fishery Products Quality Management Service
Latvia Ministry of Agriculture
Myanmar Department of Fisheries and Department of Fisheries, Kawthaung District Office
New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
Norway Directorate of Fisheries
Pakistan Marine Fisheries Department
The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Spain SUBDIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE VIGILANCIA PESQUERA Y LUCHA CONTRA LA PESCA ILEGAL
Sweden Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
Taiwan Fisheries Agency, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan (Kaohsiung Headquarters and Taipei office)
Thailand Department of Fisheries
USA NOAA Seafood Inspection Program

   Flag States under consultation procedure (To be prepared)


お問合せ先

Contact

Fisheries Processing Industries and Marketing Division

Fisheries Agency of Japan, Government of Japan

1-2-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8907 JAPAN

Tel : +81-3-3502-4190 FAX : +81-3-3508-1357

E-mail : tekiseika_suisan@maff.go.jp