ANNOUNCEMENT 07 Apr 2015In April 2015, a US state government announced a change in import formalities.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
On April 7, 2015 a bill (HB1854) pertaining to the labeling of catfish, as approved by the Arkansas state legislature, became law (Act 1191). Two of the changes made by this act in the existing food-labeling laws appear intended to provide information that may make potential consumers view the imported product less favorably.
First, the bill covers not just catfish (as in existing law) but also a new category entitled "catfish-like" (defined as "any species of the scientific genus Pangasius, family Claridae, or family Siluridae).
Second, the bill amends the labeling laws to define more specific labels that must be affixed to these products in 'direct retail sale' (i.e., the sale of catfish or catfish-like products individually or in small quantities directly to the consumer).
The former label of 'Imported Catfish' is now changed to "Imported," which applied to any "catfish or catfish-like species 'that' is produced from freshwater, either according to the usual and customary techniques of aquaculture, or from freshwater lakes, rivers, or streams of a country other than the United States."
The term 'Ocean Catfish' can be applied only to catfish that "is produced from marine or estuarine waters in the United States."