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e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2021

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter HPart 270 → §270.15

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

§270.15   Quality standards.

(a) Each Council may develop and submit to NMFS for approval or, upon the request of a Council, NMFS will develop quality standards for the species of fish or fish products described in the approved charter. Any quality standard developed under this paragraph must be consistent with the purposes of the Act.

(b) A quality standard developed under paragraph (a) of this section may be adopted by a Council by a majority of its members following a referendum conducted by the Council among sector participants of the concerned sector(s). In order for a quality standard to be brought before Council members for adoption, the majority of the sector participants of the concerned sector(s) must vote in favor of the standard. Further, according to the best available data, the majority must collectively account for, in the 12-month period immediately preceding the month in which the referendum is held, not less than 66 percent of the value of the fish or fish products described in the charter that were handled during such period in that sector by those who meet the eligibility requirements to vote in the referendum as defined by the petitioners.

(c) The Council must submit a plan to conduct the referendum on the quality standards to NMFS for approval at least 60 days in advance of such referendum date. The plan must consist of the following:

(1) Date(s) for conducting the referendum;

(2) Method (by mail or in person);

(3) Copy of the proposed notification to sector participants informing them of the referendum;

(4) List of sector participants eligible to vote;

(5) Name of individuals responsible for conducting the referendum;

(6) Copy of proposed ballot package to be used in the referendum; and

(7) Date(s) and location of ballot counting.

(d) An official observer appointed by NMFS will be allowed to be present at the ballot counting and any other phase of the referendum process, and may take whatever steps NMFS deems appropriate to verify the validity of the process and results of the referendum.

(e) Quality standards developed under this section of the regulations must, at a minimum, meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) minimum requirements for fish and fish products for human consumption.

(f) Quality standards must be consistent with applicable standards of the U.S. Department of Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) or other recognized Federal standards and/or specifications for fish and fish products.

(g) No quality standard adopted by a Council may be used in the advertising or promotion of fish or fish products as being inspected by the United States Government unless the standard requires sector participants to be in the U.S. Department of Commerce voluntary seafood inspection program.

(h) The intent of quality standards must not be to discriminate against importers who are not members of the Council.

(i) Quality standards must not be developed for the purpose of creating non-tariff barriers. Such standards must be compatible with U.S. obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or under other international standards deemed acceptable by NMFS.

(j) The procedures applicable to the adoption and the operation of quality standards developed under this subchapter also apply to subsequent amendments or the termination of such standards.

(k) With respect to a quality standard adopted under this section, the Council must develop and file with NMFS an official identifier in the form of a symbol, stamp, label or seal that will be used to indicate that a fish or fish product meets the quality standard at the time the official identifier is affixed to the fish or fish product, or is affixed to or printed on the packaging material of the fish or fish product. The use of such identifier is governed by §270.15.

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