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Reminder: Mandatory Country of Origin Fish and Shellfish

3/31/05

View Powerpoint presentation on Country of Origin Labeling Rule for Finfish and Shellfish.

“The interim final rule requiring country of origin labeling for fish and shellfish will go into effect April 4, 2005. The rule requires that products be labeled as to country of origin and method of production (wild harvest or farm raised). If you sell to a retail establishment that is covered by a PACA (Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act) license, your product must be identified as to country of origin and method of production. There are approximately 4,500 PACA licensees that operate 37,000 retail stores. These include stores engaged in the selling of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables at retail with an annual invoice value of more than $230,000.

The PACA definition excludes butcher shops, FISH MARKETS, exporters as well as foodservice establishments including those within retail establishments.

Wild fish and shellfish must be derived exclusively from fish or shellfish;
· Harvested in U.S. waters or by a U.S. flagged vessel; and
· Processed in the U.S. or aboard a U.S. flagged vessel

Farm-raised fish and shellfish must be derived exclusively from fish or shellfish hatched, raised, harvested and processed in the U.S.

Documentation must be sufficient to substantiate origin claims and provide chain of custody information for the specific lot number or other unique identifier of the product. This is similar to the FDA Biosecurity requirements.

Complete information about the rule is available at www.ams.usda.gov/cool.



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