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105th Congress                                             Rept. 105-74
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                     Part 2
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             INTERNATIONAL DOLPHIN CONSERVATION PROGRAM ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 1, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Archer, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 408]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 408) to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 
1972 to support the International Dolphin Conservation Program 
in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended by the 
Committee on Resources, do pass.

                            I. INTRODUCTION

                         A. Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 408, as amended by the Committee on Resources and 
reported by the Committee on Ways and Means, would implement 
into U.S. law the Declaration of Panama concerning tuna fishing 
in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP). The bill would 
recognize that a significant reduction in dolphin mortality has 
been achieved by nations fishing for tuna in the ETP. In 
addition, the bill would replace the current use of U.S. 
unilateral standards as a trigger for an import ban of tuna 
caught with purse seine nets with multilateral standards agreed 
to as part of the Panama Declaration. Finally, the bill would 
amend the definition of ``dolphin safe.''

                             B. Background

    Because large yellowfin tuna associate with schools of 
dolphin in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP), fishermen 
have in the past deployed large seine nets around dolphins to 
harvest the tuna swimming below, resulting in significant 
dolphin mortality. Since then, fishermen have improved their 
techniques, greatly reducing the incidence of dolphin 
mortality. Scientific experts report that the current level of 
dolphin mortality is less than 4,000 animals per year, a level 
considered to be below commercial significance.
    In an effort to protect marine mammals from the adverse 
effects of fishing, the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was 
enacted in 1972. In 1984, in response to concerns of the 
increased incidence of dolphin mortality by the foreign tuna 
fleet, the MMPA was amended to require each nation wishing to 
export tuna to the United States to document that its dolphin 
protection program was ``comparable'' to that of the United 
States and that the incidental mortality rate was 
``comparable'' to that of the U.S. fleet. Failure to meet these 
standards would result in the embargo on the importation of 
yellowfin tuna from that country.
    Legislation enacted as part of the Fishery Conservation 
Amendments of 1990 codified criteria for the labeling of tuna 
and tuna products as ``dolphin safe.'' To qualify as dolphin 
safe, tuna caught in the ETP must have been caught either by a 
vessel too small to deploy nets around dolphins or, for larger 
vessels, the catch must be certified by a qualified observer 
that no ``dolphin sets'' were made for the entire fishing trip.
    In 1990, Mexico was embargoed for not achieving 
comparability with the U.S. fleet. In response, Mexico 
requested a GATT panel to consider whether the United States 
was inconsistent with its GATT obligations by imposing 
embargoes on tuna imports under the authority of the MMPA. In 
August 1991, the GATT panel found that the United States had 
acted inconsistently because it imposed import restrictions 
based on certain extraterritorial environmental concerns and 
dictated how other nations produce their goods for export. 
However, the panel suggested that import sanctions could be 
permissible if they were designed toencourage compliance with a 
multilateral agreement. Adoption of the panel report has been blocked 
by the United States under the pre-WTO dispute settlement procedures of 
the GATT.
    The EU subsequently challenged U.S. embargo provisions 
applicable to tuna trade through intermediary nations. That 
GATT panel also found that the United States had acted 
inconsistently with GATT obligations. Adoption of the panel 
report has been blocked by the United States under the pre-WTO 
dispute settlement procedures of the GATT.
    In 1992, Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) nations concluded 
the La Jolla Agreement, a non-binding international agreement 
establishing an International Dolphin Conservation Program 
(IDCP) under the auspices of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna 
Commission (IATTC). The agreement established annual limits on 
incidental dolphin mortality, required observers on tuna 
vessels, established a review panel to monitor fleet 
compliance, and created a scientific research and education 
program and advisory board. The agreement established a dolphin 
mortality limit for each vessel, and when that limit was 
reached, such vessel would be required to discontinue ``setting 
on dolphins'' for the remainder of the year.
    In October 1995, 12 nations signed the Declaration of 
Panama, including the United States, Belize, Colombia, Costa 
Rica, Ecuador, France, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Spain, 
Vanuatu, and Venezuela. The Panama Declaration endorses the 
success of the La Jolla Agreement and adjusts the marketing 
policy of dolphin safe tuna in recognition of this success. In 
exchange for modifications to U.S. law, foreign signatories 
agreed to modify and formalize the La Jolla Agreement as a 
binding agreement. Signatories agreed to adopt conservation and 
management measures to ensure long-term sustainability of tuna 
and living marine resources, assess the catch and bycatch of 
tuna and take steps to reduce or eliminate the bycatch, 
implement the binding agreement through enactment of domestic 
legislation, enhance mechanisms for reviewing compliance with 
the IDCP, and establish annual quotas for dolphin mortality 
limiting total annual dolphin mortality to fewer than 5000 
animals.
    Changes to U.S. law envisaged by the other signatories, in 
return, included lifting the primary and secondary embargoes on 
tuna caught in compliance with the La Jolla Agreement, 
permitting access to the U.S. market for all tuna (dolphin safe 
and non-dolphin safe) caught in compliance with the La Jolla 
Agreement by IATTC members or nations initiating steps to 
become IATTC members, and redefining ``dolphin safe'' to 
include ETP tuna caught in purse seine nets in which no dolphin 
mortalities were observed.
    H.R. 408, as amended, would implement the Panama 
Declaration into U.S. law, building on the international 
consensus concerning multilateral management of the ETP tuna 
fishery, instead of maintaining the use of unilateral standards 
which operate as a barrier to trade.

                         C. Legislative History

    H.R. 408 was introduced on January 9, 1997, by 
Representative Gilchrest and was referred to the Committee on 
Resources. On April 24, 1997, the Committee on Resources 
reported H.R. 408 favorably, with amendments, by voice vote. 
See H. Rep. 105-74 (Part 1) for a detailed description of 
action by the Committee on Resources.
    On April 24, 1997, H.R. 408, as amended by the Committee on 
Resources, was sequentially referred to the Committee on Ways 
and Means, for a period ending not later than May 5, 1997.
    On April 30, 1997, the Committee on Ways and Means met to 
consider H.R. 408. The Committee ordered H.R. 408, as amended 
by the Committee on Resources, favorably reported, without 
additional amendment, by a recorded vote of 28 ayes and 9 nays.
    During the 104th Congress, the Committee on Ways and Means 
considered similar legislation implementing the Panama 
Declaration, H.R. 2823. The Committee reported the legislation 
favorably, without amendment, by voice vote on July 23, 1996. 
The House passed the legislation on July 31, 1996, by a 
recorded vote of 316-108. The legislation was not considered by 
the full Senate.

II. EXPLANATION OF PROVISIONS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMMITTEE 
                           ON WAYS AND MEANS

                        A. SEC. 2(a)(3): PURPOSE

Present law

    Not applicable.

Explanation of provision

    States that the purpose of the Act is to eliminate the ban 
on imports of tuna from nations that are in compliance with the 
International Dolphin Conservation Program.

Reasons for change

    The Committee believes that if countries are in compliance 
with the multilateral standard for the fishing of yellowfin 
tuna as memorialized in the International Dolphin Conservation 
Program, then the import ban should not apply. Accordingly, the 
Committee believes that the use of U.S. comparability standards 
for the imposition of any embargo on yellowfin tuna should be 
replaced with the IDCP standards.

                       B. SEC. 2(b)(2): FINDINGS

Present law

    Not applicable.

Explanation of provision

    States that the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 
provisions that impose a ban on imports from nations that fish 
for tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have served as 
an incentive to reduce dolphin mortalities.

Reasons for change

    The Committee believes that these provisions have served as 
a positive incentive to reduce dolphin mortality. Replacement 
of the unilateral U.S. standard with the international IDCP 
standard should serve as an equal incentive while, at the same 
time, putting the United States in compliance with its 
international agreements.

C. SEC. 3: DEFINITION OF ``INTERNATIONAL DOLPHIN CONSERVATION PROGRAM''

Present law

    Not applicable.

Explanation of provision

    Adds a definition of the International Dolphin Conservation 
Program, which refers to the international program established 
by the agreement signed in La Jolla, California in June 1992, 
as formalized, modified, and enhanced in accordance with the 
Declaration of Panama. The Declaration caps dolphin mortality 
at 5,000, establishes declining levels of per-stock per-year 
mortality levels, provides for the ceasing of sets on dolphins 
if the mortality level is exceeded, provides for scientific 
review and assessment, establishes per-vessel mortality limits, 
and establishes incentives to continue to reduce dolphin 
mortality, with the goal of eliminating dolphin mortality.

Reasons for change

    The definition in section 3 reflects the international 
agreement reached by the ETP nations through the La Jolla 
Agreement and the Panama Declaration.

   D. SEC. 4(b) and (c): AMENDMENTS TO TITLE I OF THE MARINE MAMMAL 
                             PROTECTION ACT

Present law

    Current law establishes a moratorium on (i.e., prohibits) 
the importation of commercial fish (including tuna) which 
results in the incidental kill or serious injury of ocean 
mammals in excess of U.S. standards unless the following 
conditions are met:
          The government of the harvesting nation has adopted a 
        regulatory program governing the incidental taking of 
        marine mammals which is ``comparable'' to that of the 
        United States; and
          The average rate of incidental taking by the vessels 
        of the harvesting nation is ``comparable'' to the 
        average rate of incidental taking of marine mammals by 
        the United States (sec. 101(a)(2) of the Marine Mammal 
        Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972; 16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(2))

Explanation of provision

    Section 4(b) of H.R. 408 would maintain the moratorium 
under current law but would repeal the unilateral comparability 
standard. Instead, importation would be permitted if the 
harvesting nation complies with international standards, as 
follows:
          The tuna was harvested by vessels of a nation which 
        participates in the International Dolphin Conservation 
        Program, the harvesting nation is either a member or 
        has initiated steps to become a member of the Inter-
        American Tropical Tuna Commission, and the nation has 
        implemented its obligations under the Program and the 
        Commission; and
          Total dolphin mortality permitted under the Program 
        not to exceed 5,000 in 1997, or any year thereafter.
    Section 4(c) would provide standards for the acceptance of 
documentary evidence and establish an exemption for U.S. 
citizens incidentally taking marine mammals during fishing 
operations outside the United States exclusive economic zone 
under certain circumstances.

Reasons for change

    H.R. 408 would implement the multilateral standards for the 
imposition of trade sanctions agreed to as part of the Panama 
Declaration, repealing the unilateral comparability standards 
of current U.S. law. The Committee believes that enforcement 
actions are often the most effective when they are based on 
international consensus, and that such consensus would be more 
constructive to effective management of the ETP tuna fishery by 
all countries concerned. The Committee thus expects the 
Secretary to use this authority, wherever possible in 
accordance with multilaterally agreed decisions taken by ICCAT 
and to work within ICCAT and other institutions to achieve 
multilateral consensus on appropriate enforcement mechanisms.
    In light of the above, it is the view of the Committee that 
the preferred course of action with respect to the use of 
import measures to enforce standards relating to dolphin 
mortalities is to base those standards on those developed 
through the Panama Declaration. The change made by section 4(b) 
of H.R. 408 to section 101(a)(2) of the MMPA is a conforming 
change concerning this international standard.

      E. SEC. 5(f) CHAPEAU AND (f)(1)(c): AMENDMENTS  TO TITLE III

Present law

    Section 307 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1415) provides that 
yellowfin tuna or yellowfin tuna product may not be imported in 
violation of import ban established under section 305. Section 
305 imposes the import ban unless the tuna is imported from a 
country that agrees to implement a 5-year moratorium on setting 
on dolphins, requires vessel observers, and reduces dolphin 
mortality.

Explanation of provision

    Section 5(f)(1)(c) of H.R. 408 would maintain the section 
307 prohibition on importation of tuna in violation of an 
import ban (renumbering it to become section 305). However, the 
chapeau to section 5(f) of H.R. 408 would repeal section 305 
under present law, which conditions importation on the 
requirement that importing countries adopt a moratorium, 
require vessel observers, and reduce dolphin mortality, as no 
longer necessary because new moratorium would be triggered by 
international standards. Instead, the requirements of section 
101(a)(2) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (as amended by 
section 4(b) and (c) of H.R. 408) would govern the imposition 
of the import ban.

Reasons for change

    Section 5(f) of H.R. 408 would prohibit the importation of 
yellowfin tuna based on the new international standards of 
section 101(a)(2) (as set forth in section 4(b) and (c) of H.R. 
408), thereby replacing the U.S. comparability standard, as 
discussed above. Because of this new language, section 305 of 
the current statute would no longer be necessary and would 
therefore be repealed.

                       III. VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(2)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the following statements 
are made concerning the votes of the Committee on Ways and 
Means in its consideration of the bill H.R. 408.

                       Motion to Report the Bill

    The bill, H.R. 408, as reported by the Committee on 
Resources, was ordered favorably reported by a roll call vote 
of 28 yeas to 9 nays (with a quorum being present). The vote 
was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Representatives               Yea    Nay   Present       Representatives        Yea    Nay   Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Archer.............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Rangel...............      X  .....  .......
Mr. Crane..............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Stark................  .....      X  .......
Mr. Thomas.............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Matsui...............      X  .....  .......
Mr. Shaw...............................      X  .....  .......  Mrs. Kennelly............  .....      X  .......
Mrs. Johnson...........................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Coyne................  .....      X  .......
Mr. Bunning............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Levin................      X  .....  .......
Mr. Houghton...........................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Cardin...............      X  .....  .......
Mr. Herger.............................  .....  .....  .......  Mr. McDermott............  .....      X  .......
Mr. McCrery............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Kleczka..............  .....      X  .......
Mr. Camp...............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Lewis................  .....      X  .......
Mr. Ramstad............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Neal.................  .....      X  .......
Mr. Nussle.............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. McNulty..............  .....      X  .......
Mr. Johnson............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Jefferson............      X  .....  .......
Ms. Dunn...............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Tanner...............      X  .....  .......
Mr. Collins............................      X  .....  .......  Mr. Becerra..............  .....  .....  .......
Mr. Portman............................      X  .....  .......  Mrs. Thurman.............  .....      X  .......
Mr. English............................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Ensign.............................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Christensen........................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Watkins............................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Hayworth...........................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Weller.............................      X  .....  .......                                                  
Mr. Hulshof............................      X                                                                  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     IV. BUDGET EFFECTS OF THE BILL

               A. Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects

    In compliance with clause 7(a) of the rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the following statement 
is made concerning the effects on the budget of H.R. 408, as 
reported: The Committee agrees with the estimate prepared by 
CBO which is included below.

    B. Statement Regarding New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with subdivision (B) of clause 2(l)(3) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee states that the provisions of H.R. 408 do not contain 
any new budget authority, spending authority, credit authority, 
or a decrease or increase in tax expenditures. Enactment of 
H.R. 408 would lead to an increase in appropriated spending of 
approximately $1 million in fiscal year 1998. Enacting H.R. 408 
could decrease direct spending beginning in fiscal year 1998 by 
generating additional offsetting receipts from fees on fishing 
permits, and new permit fees are estimated to total less than 
$100,000 per year over the 1998-2002 period. In addition, H.R. 
408 would increase governmental receipts by less than $500,000 
annually from tariffs on imported tuna.

      C. Cost Estimate Prepared by The Congressional Budget Office

    In compliance with subdivision (C) of clause 2(l)(3) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, requiring 
a cost estimate prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, 
the following report prepared by CBO is provided:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 30, 1997.
Hon. Bill Archer,
Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 408, the 
International Dolphin Conservation Program Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Victoria V. 
Heid (for federal costs) and Lesley Frymier (for the private-
sector impact).
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

H.R. 408--International Dolphin Conservation Program Act

    Summary: H.R. 408 would modify the protection of marine 
mammals, including dolphins, in connection with tuna 
harvesting. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 408 would lead to 
an increase in appropriated spending of about $1 million in 
fiscal year 1998, assuming appropriations consistent with the 
bill's provisions. In addition, CBO estimates that enacting 
H.R. 408 could decrease direct spending beginning in fiscal 
year 1998 by generating additional offsetting receipts from 
fees on fishing permits. We estimate that any new permit fees 
would total less than $100,000 a year over the 1998-2002 
period. Finally, based on information for the International 
Trade Commission (ITC), COB estimates that H.R. 408 would 
increase governmental receipts by less than $500,000 annually. 
Because H.R. 408 could affect both direct spending and 
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.
    H.R. 408 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), and would 
have no impact on state, local, or tribal governments. The bill 
would impose new private-sector mandates on tuna vessels while 
removing an existing mandate on tuna vessels and providing 
other benefits to tuna importers. CBO estimates that the direct 
costs of the new private-sector mandates would most likely be 
less than the costs of the existing mandate.
    Description of the bill's major provisions: The bill would 
recognize and incorporate into law many of the provisions of 
the Declaration of Panama, signed October 4, 1995, by the 
United States and the governments of Belize, Colombia, Costa 
Rica, Ecuador, France, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Spain, 
Vanuatu, and Venezuela. The Declaration of Panama addresses the 
protection of dolphins and other species, and the conservation 
and management of tuna, in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean 
(ETP). Several provisions of the bill would address the use of 
purse seines in tuna fishing. Purse seines are large nets that 
encircle tuna and are then drawn shut like a purse.
    Specifically, the bill would:
          Declare that it is U.S. policy to support the 
        International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) 
        operated under the auspices of the Inter-American 
        Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC);
          Eliminate the current ban by the Secretary of the 
        Treasury on imports of yellowfin tuna from countries 
        whose vessels catch tuna in the ETP using a procedure 
        known as ``setting on dolphins'' by allowing tuna 
        imports from those nations complying with the IDCP;
          Amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to 
        allow the Department of Commerce (DOC) to issue permits 
        to U.S. fishermen authorizing the incidental taking of 
        dolphins during commercial yellowfin tuna harvesting;
          Limit the number of dolphins that can be killed by 
        tuna fishing in the ETP to 5,000 annually, with the 
        mortality limit apportioned among various dolphin 
        types--but the limit for each type could not exceed 0.2 
        percent of the minimum estimated abundance of that type 
        through 2000, and 0.1 percent of that minimum in 2001 
        and thereafter;
          Require U.S. vessels fishing for tuna in the ETP to 
        obtain individual, annual permits from the Secretary of 
        Commerce to authorize their participation in the IDCP, 
        and authorize the Secretary to charge fees to cover the 
        administrative costs of the permits. (Under current 
        law, vessels must pay an annual fee for a certificate 
        of inclusion in one umbrella permit.);
          Authorize to be appropriated to the DOC $1 million 
        for scientific research on dolphin conservation;
          Amend the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act 
        by redefining tuna that may be labeled ``dolphin safe'' 
        as that caught in any set of a purse seine net in which 
        no dolphins were killed, regardless of whether any 
        dolphins were encircled as part of the tuna harvest. 
        (Under the bill, tuna would be determined to be 
        ``dolphin safe'' on a set-by-set basis, rather than by 
        vessel-trip as under current law.); and
          State that is the sense of the Congress that each 
        nation participating in the International Dolphin 
        Conservation Program should contribute an equitable 
        amount to the expenses of the IATTC.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 408 is shown in the table below. CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would increase 
discretionary spending by about $1 million in 1998, and by less 
than $100,000 annually thereafter. The bill also could affect 
direct spending and revenues, but in each case CBO estimates 
that any such changes would be less than $500,000 a year.

                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        1997      1998      1999      2000      2001      2002  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                  
                                                                                                                
Estimated authorization level.......................         0         1     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)
Estimated outlays...................................         0         1     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $100,000.                                                                                         

    The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 
300 (natural resources and environment).
    Basis of estimate: Spending subject to appropriation.--
Assuming appropriations consistent with the bill, enacting H.R. 
408 would result in about $1 million in additional appropriated 
spending in fiscal year 1998. H.R. 408 would authorize the 
appropriation of $1 million to be used by the DOC's National 
Marine Fisheries Service to support scientific research on 
dolphin conservation. We estimate outlays of about $1 million 
in fiscal year 1998, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amount.
    The bill also states that it is the sense of the Congress 
that each nation participating in the International Dolphin 
Conservation Program should contribute an equitable amount to 
the expenses of the IATTC, which administers the International 
Dolphin Conservation Program and employs the international 
observers currently required on all tuna boats operating in the 
ETP. Currently, the Department of State contributes about $3 
million annually to the IATTC. That amount represents about 90 
percent of the contributions from all nations to the IATTC, and 
about 65 percent of the IATTC's $4.5 million budget. H.R. 408 
would not, by itself, change the U.S. contribution to the 
IATTC, and it is unclear whether the factors identified in the 
bill would lead to a change in the U.S. contribution. Hence, 
CBO estimates that this provision would not change 
discretionary spending.
    H.R. 408 would require U.S. vessels operating in the ETP to 
obtain individual permits from the Secretary of Commerce. Such 
permits would authorize vessels' participation in the IDCP and 
allow some incidental deaths of marine mammals from using purse 
seines in commercial fishing for yellowfin tuna. H.R. 408 would 
authorize the Secretary to charge a permit fee, but such fees 
could not exceed the administrative costs of issuing permits. 
Income from fees could be spent, subject to appropriation, by 
the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for 
the expenses incurred in issuing permits. As explained below, 
CBO estimates that any such increase in fees would be less than 
$100,000 a year. Hence, the potential effect of this provision 
on discretionary spending also would be less than $100,000 a 
year.
    Direct spending (including offsetting receipts).--Under 
current law, all U.S. vessels fishing for tuna in the ETP may 
operate under one permit issued to the American Tunaboat 
Association in 1980 by the Secretary of Commerce. Individual 
vessels pay an annual fee to the DOC to renew certificates of 
inclusion under that permit. The current permit expires 
December 31, 1999. Over the last year, about five U.S. vessels 
have been harvesting tuna in the ETP under the permit.
    H.R. 408 would not affect the fees paid by U.S. vessels 
currently fishing for tuna. The bill could result in additional 
U.S. vessels seeking permit authority to operate in the ETP. 
Under current law, to meet the ``dolphin safe'' definition for 
tuna, U.S. vessels in the ETP cannot set purse seine nets on 
dolphins in the course of fishing for tuna. The bill would 
permit this practice and allow for limited dolphin mortality in 
accordance with the international program as long as certain 
safeguards are adopted. This increase in flexibility could 
encourage additional U.S. vessels to operate in the ETP, where 
they would be subject to permit fees. We estimate, however, 
that any change in receipts from permit fees would be less than 
$100,000 a year.
    Revenues.--The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 bans 
imports of yellowfin tuna from nations that fish for tuna in 
the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. H.R. 408 allows tuna 
imports from nations that comply with the IDCP. Currently, 
fresh tuna imported to the U.S. is not subject to duty. 
However, the U.S. Customs Service collects about $30 million 
annually from tariffs on canned tuna. Based on historical 
information provided by the ITC, prior to the embargo about 1 
percent of the duties collected on canned tuna imports were 
from IDCP signatory nations. Therefore, CBO estimates that 
eliminating the ban on imports of tuna from these nations would 
not significantly increase governmental receipts.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: Section 252 of the Balanced 
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 sets up pay-
as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct spending 
or receipts through 1998. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 408 
could affect both direct spending and governmental receipts, 
but that any change would be less than $500,000 a year in both 
cases.
    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 408 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
the UMRA and would have no impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: The bill would 
impose new private-sector mandates on tuna vessels while 
removing an existing mandate on tuna vessels and providing 
other benefits to tuna importers. CBO estimates that the direct 
costs of the new mandates would most likely be less than the 
costs of the existing mandate.
    Section 4 of H.R. 408 would change the labeling of dolphin-
safe tuna. In order to be labeled dolphin-safe, tuna harvested 
in the ETP would have to be accompanied by a certification that 
no dolphins were killed (instead of the current requirement 
that no dolphin sets are made). Tuna harvested outside of the 
ETP could be labeled dolphin-safe if it is accompanied by a 
statement certifying that no sets were intentionally set on 
dolphins, or, in some fisheries, marine mammals. Based on 
information obtained from industry and government sources, 
these mandates would impose minimal, if any, costs on U.S. 
vessels.
    Section 4 of the bill also would give the Secretary of 
Commerce the authority to require certain vessels to provide 
observer certification in fisheries where the Secretary has 
identified a regular and significant incidental mortality or 
serious injury rate of marine mammals. In those fisheries, in 
order for tuna to be labeled as dolphin-safe, observers would 
have to certify that no marine mammals were killed. Based on 
information obtained from industry and government sources, CBO 
does not expect the Secretary would use this authority for 
U.S.-registered vessels.
    H.R. 408 would require U.S. tuna vessels fishing in the ETP 
to comply with tracking and verification procedures to separate 
dolphin-safe and dolphin-unsafe tuna. In addition, each tuna 
vessel in the ETP would be required to register for a dolphin 
mortality limit with the IATTC. Based on information provided 
by industry experts, CBO does not expect these requirements to 
entail significant costs to the U.S. tuna industry.
    Section 5 of the bill includes provisions that would codify 
existing regulations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration. These include provisions that would require the 
use of certain gear and procedures and would require vessels to 
obtain permits from the Secretary of Commerce for the 
incidental taking of marine mammals.
    Section 6 of the bill would encourage the Secretary of 
State to establish a bycatch reduction program that would 
include the live release of threatened and endangered species, 
and measures to reduce the harvest and mortality of nontarget 
species and the mortality of juvenile tuna. Based on 
information provided by the U.S. Department of State, CBO does 
not expect that such a program, if established, would result in 
measurable costs to the private sector.
    H.R. 408 would lift the existing prohibition on U.S. 
vessels setting nets on dolphins in the ETP as long as vessels 
comply with all appropriate regulations. The bill also would 
lift the ban on the importation and sale of dolphin-unsafe tuna 
from countries participating in the International Dolphin 
Conservation Program. Overall, CBO estimates that enacting this 
bill would result in decreased costs to the private sector.
    Previous CBO estimate: On April 23, 1997, CBO prepared a 
cost estimate for H.R. 408, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Resources on April 16, 1997. The two versions are 
identical as are the estimates.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs--Victoria V. Heid and 
Gary Brown; revenues--Stephanie Weiner; impact on the private 
sector--Lesley Frymier.
    Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

 V. OTHER MATTERS REQUIRED TO BE DISCUSSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE

          A. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    With respect to subdivision (A) of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives (relating to 
oversight findings), the Committee advises that it was as a 
result of the Committee's oversight activities concerning 
customs and tariff matters, import trade matters, and specific 
trade-related issues that the Committee concluded that it was 
appropriate to enact the provisions contained in the bill.

    B. Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the Committee on 
                    Government Reform and Oversight

    With respect to subdivision (D) of clause 21(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, no oversight 
findings or recommendations have been submitted to the 
Committee by the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 
with respect to the subject matter contained in H.R. 408.

                 C. Constitutional Authority Statement

    With respect to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, relating to Constitutional 
Authority, the Committee states that the Committee's action in 
reporting the bill is derived from Article I of the 
Constitution, Section 8 (``The Congress shall have power to lay 
and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the 
debts and to provide for * * * the general Welfare of the 
United States * * *'').

       VI. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means 
for consideration of such provisions of the bill, and amendment 
thereto, as fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee, 
pursuant to clause 1(a) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives. The changes made to existing law by the 
amendment reported by the Committee on Resources are shown in 
the report filed by that committee (H. Rept. 105-74, Part 1).