(a)Permit application fees. Each vessel permit application submitted under § 600.501 must be accompanied by a fee. The amount of the fee will be determined in accordance with the procedures for determining administrative costs of each special product or service contained in the NOAA Finance Handbook, which is available upon request from the Office of International Affairs (see address at § 600.501(d)(1)). The fee is specified with the application form. At the time the application is submitted, a check for the fees, drawn on a U.S. bank, payable to the order of “Department of Commerce, NOAA,” must be sent to the Assistant Administrator. The permit fee payment must be accompanied by a list of the vessels for which the payment is made. In the case of applications for permits authorizing activity code 10, the permit application fee will be waived if the applicant provides satisfactory documentary proof to the Assistant Administrator that the foreign nation under which the vessel is registered does not collect a fee from a vessel of the United States engaged in similar activities in the waters of such foreign nation. The documentation presented (e.g., copy of foreign fishing regulations applicable to vessels of the United States) must clearly exempt vessels of the United States from such a fee.
(1)Rates. If a Nation chooses to accept an allocation, poundage fees must be paid at the rate specified in the following table.
Table—Species and Poundage Fees
[Dollars per metric ton]
Northwest Atlantic Ocean fisheries:
2. Herring, Atlantic
3. Herring, River
4. Mackerel, Atlantic
5. Other finfish
6. Squid, Illex
7. Squid, Loligo
(2)Method of payment of poundage fees and observer fees.
(i) If a Nation chooses to accept an allocation, a revolving letter of credit (L/C) must be established and maintained to cover the poundage fees for at least 25 percent of the previous year's total allocation at the rate in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, or as determined by the Assistant Administrator, plus the observer fees required by paragraph (c) of this section. The L/C must—
(A) Be irrevocable.
(B) Be with a bank subscribing to ICC Pub. 290.
(C) Designate “Department of Commerce, NOAA” as beneficiary;
(D) Allow partial withdrawals.
(E) Be confirmed by a U.S. bank.
(ii) The customer must pay all commissions, transmission, and service charges. No fishing will be allowed until the L/C is established, and authorized written notice of its issuance is provided to the Assistant Administrator.
(3)Assessment of poundage fees. Poundage fees will be assessed quarterly for the actual catch during January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. The appropriate Regional Administrator will reconcile catch figures with each country following the procedures of § 600.511(d). When the catch figures are agreed upon, NOAA will present a bill for collection as the documentary demand for payment to the confirming bank. If, after 45 days from the end of the quarter, catches have not been reconciled, the estimate of the Regional Administrator will stand and a bill will be issued for that amount. If necessary, the catch figures may be refined by the Regional Administrator during the next 60 days, and any modifications will be reflected in the next quarter's bill.
(c)Observer fees. The Assistant Administrator will notify the owners or operators of FFV's of the estimated annual costs of placing observers aboard their vessels. The owners or operators of any such vessel must provide for repayment of those costs by including one-fourth of the estimated annual observer fee as determined by the Assistant Administrator in a L/C as prescribed in § 600.518(b)(2). During the fiscal year, payment will be withdrawn from the L/C as required to cover anticipated observer coverage for the upcoming fishery. The Assistant Administrator will reconcile any differences between the estimated cost and actual costs of observer coverage within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year.
(1) A foreign nation, or the owners and operators of certain vessels of that foreign nation, may be required by the Assistant Administrator to provide financial assurances. Such assurances may be required if—
(i) Civil and criminal penalties assessed against fishing vessels of the Nation have not effectively deterred violations;
(ii) Vessels of that Nation have engaged in fishing in the EEZ without proper authorization to conduct such activities;
(iii) The Nation's vessel owners have refused to answer administrative charges or summons to appear in court; or
(iv) Enforcement of Magnuson-Stevens Act civil or criminal judgments in the courts of a foreign nation is unattainable.
(2) The level of financial assurances will be guided by the level of penalties assessed and costs to the U.S. Government.