[House Report 113-202]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-202

======================================================================



 
            POLAR BEAR CONSERVATION AND FAIRNESS ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 September 10, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1818]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1818) to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
of 1972 to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken in 
sport hunts in Canada before the date the polar bear was 
determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1818 is to amend the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act of 1972 to allow importation of polar bear 
trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before the date the 
polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted in 1972 
to ensure that marine mammals are maintained at, or in some 
cases restored to, healthy population levels. The original Act 
established a moratorium on the taking or importing of marine 
mammals and marine mammal products except for certain 
activities which are regulated and permitted. The MMPA defines 
``take'' as ``to harass, hunt capture, or kill or attempt to 
harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.''
    Under the MMPA, jurisdiction over marine mammals in the 
wild is split between two agencies: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS), within the Department of the Interior; and the 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), within the Department 
of Commerce. FWS has jurisdiction over sea otters, polar bears, 
manatees, dugongs and walrus, while NMFS has jurisdiction over 
all other marine mammals.
    The MMPA has been amended a number of times, with the last 
and most extensive amendments occurring in 1994. The 1994 
amendments to the MMPA allowed the importation of polar bear 
trophies from Canada. The Secretary of the Interior was 
authorized to issue a permit for the importation of polar bear 
trophies from Canada, if the following criteria were met: (1) 
the applicant provides documents showing the polar bear was 
legally taken in Canada; (2) Canada has a monitored and 
enforced sport hunting program, consistent with the Agreement 
on the Conservation of Polar Bears; (3) Canada's sport program 
is based on scientifically sound quotas that ensure a 
sustainable population; and (4) the exportation and importation 
of the trophy are consistent with the provisions of the 
Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. 
The Secretary of the Interior was also authorized to charge a 
permit fee up to $1,000 for each trophy import application. The 
collected fees were authorized to be directed into a fund for 
the conservation of polar bears in the United States and 
Russia.
    Since 1994, Canada and FWS have successfully worked 
together to ensure that imported polar bear trophies have come 
from hunts conducted in a sustainable manner. Canada has 
management authority over 13 of the 19 world-wide polar bear 
populations. After reviewing Canada's management actions, FWS 
created a list of approved polar bear populations in Canada. In 
2008, six of the 13 Canadian polar bear populations were 
considered approved populations and a polar bear trophy from 
one of these populations could be imported into the U.S. after 
the hunter paid an importation permit fee. According to FWS, 
between 1997 and 2008, 969 trophies were taken in Canada and 
imported into the U.S., raising $969,000 for the U.S.-Russia 
Polar Bear Conservation Fund.
    On May 15, 2008, the Secretary of the Interior listed the 
world-wide polar bear population as threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA). Threatened and endangered marine 
mammals are considered depleted species under the MMPA and the 
Act bans the importation of depleted species. At the time of 
the polar bear threatened listing, there were 41 hunters with 
legally hunted polar bear trophies in the permitting process. 
Legislation is needed to allow for the importation of these 
trophies.
    H.R. 1818 would amend the MMPA to allow the Secretary of 
the Interior to issue permits to those eligible hunters with 
legally taken polar bear trophies from approved populations 
prior to the May 15, 2008, ESA listing. As a result of this 
legislation, up to $41,000 would be collected for the U.S.-
Russia Polar Bear Conservation Fund to support conservation 
activities for the shared U.S.-Russia polar bear population.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1818 was introduced on April 26, 2013, by Congressman 
Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. On July 25, 
2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 31, 
2013, the full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the 
bill. The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and 
Insular Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent. No 
amendments were offered, and the bill was then adopted and 
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
unanimous consent.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1818--Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2013

    H.R. 1818 would require the Secretary of the interior to 
issue permits to certain hunters seeking to import polar bear 
remains from Canada. Under the bill, only hunters who submit 
applications for permits to import remains that were acquired 
prior to May 15, 2008, the date the polar bear was listed as a 
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, would be 
eligible to receive a permit.
    Based on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, CBO estimates that processing and issuing the roughly 
40 permits that would be affected by the legislation would have 
a negligible impact on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 1818 
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1818 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on 
information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CBO 
estimates that processing and issuing the roughly 40 permits 
that would be affected by the legislation would have a 
negligible impact on the federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act of 1972 to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken 
in sport hunts in Canada before the date the polar bear was 
determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance with Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                  MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE I--CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF MARINE MAMMALS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                                permits

  Sec. 104. (a) The Secretary may issue permits which authorize 
the taking or importation of any marine mammal. Permits for the 
incidental taking of marine mammals in the course of commercial 
fishing operations may only be issued as specifically provided 
for in sections 101(a)(5) or 306, or subsection (h) of this 
section.
  (b) Any permit issued under this section shall--
          (1) be consistent with any applicable regulation 
        established by the Secretary under section 103 of this 
        title, and
          (2) specify
                  (A) the number and kind of animals which are 
                authorized to be taken or imported,
                  (B) the location and manner (which manner 
                must be determined by the Secretary to be 
                humane) in which they may be taken, or from 
                which they may be imported,
                  (C) the period during which the permit is 
                valid, and
                  (D) any other terms or conditions which the 
                Secretary deems appropriate.
In any case in which an application for a permit cites as a 
reason for the proposed taking the overpopulation of a 
particular species or population stock, the Secretary shall 
first consider whether or not it would be more desirable to 
transplant a number of animals (but not to exceed the number 
requested for taking in the application) of that species or 
stock to a location not then inhabited by such species or stock 
but previously inhabited by such species or stock.
  (c)(1) Any permit issued by the Secretary which authorizes 
the taking or importation of a marine mammal for purposes of 
scientific research, public display, or enhancing the survival 
or recovery of a species or stock shall specify, in addition to 
the conditions required by subsection (b) of this section, the 
methods of capture, supervision, care, and transportation which 
must be observed pursuant to such taking or importation. Any 
person authorized to take or import a marine mammal for 
purposes of scientific research, public display, or enhancing 
the survival or recovery of a species or stock shall furnish to 
the Secretary a report on all activities carried out by him 
pursuant to that authority.
  (2)(A) A permit may be issued to take or import a marine 
mammal for the purpose of public display only to a person which 
the Secretary determines--
          (i) offers a program for education or conservation 
        purposes that is based on professionally recognized 
        standards of the public display community;
          (ii) is registered or holds a license issued under 7 
        U.S.C. 2131 et seq.; and
          (iii) maintains facilities for the public display of 
        marine mammals that are open to the public on a 
        regularly scheduled basis and that access to such 
        facilities is not limited or restricted other than by 
        charging of an admission fee.
  (B) A permit under this paragraph shall grant to the person 
to which it is issued the right, without obtaining any 
additional permit or authorization under this Act, to--
          (i) take, import, purchase, offer to purchase, 
        possess, or transport the marine mammal that is the 
        subject of the permit; and
          (ii) sell, export, or otherwise transfer possession 
        of the marine mammal, or offer to sell, export, or 
        otherwise transfer possession of the marine mammal--
                  (I) for the purpose of public display, to a 
                person that meets the requirements of clauses 
                (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A);
                  (II) for the purpose of scientific research, 
                to a person that meets the requirements of 
                paragraph (3); or
                  (III) for the purpose of enhancing the 
                survival or recovery of a species or stock, to 
                a person that meets the requirements of 
                paragraph (4).
  (C) A person to which a marine mammal is sold or exported or 
to which possession of a marine mammal is otherwise transferred 
under the authority of subparagraph (B) shall have the rights 
and responsibilities described in subparagraph (B) with respect 
to the marine mammal without obtaining any additional permit or 
authorization under this Act. Such responsibilities shall be 
limited to--
          (i) for the purpose of public display, the 
        responsibility to meet the requirements of clauses (i), 
        (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A),
          (ii) for the purpose of scientific research, the 
        responsibility to meet the requirements of paragraph 
        (3), and
          (iii) for the purpose of enhancing the survival or 
        recovery of a species or stock, the responsibility to 
        meet the requirements of paragraph (4).
  (D) If the Secretary--
          (i) finds in concurrence with the Secretary of 
        Agriculture, that a person that holds a permit under 
        this paragraph for a marine mammal, or a person 
        exercising rights under subparagraph (C), no longer 
        meets the requirements of subparagraph (A)(ii) and is 
        not reasonably likely to meet those requirements in the 
        near future, or
          (ii) finds that a person that holds a permit under 
        this paragraph for a marine mammal, or a person 
        exercising rights under subparagraph (C), no longer 
        meets the requirements of subparagraph (A) (i) or (iii) 
        and is not reasonably likely to meet those requirements 
        in the near future,
the Secretary may revoke the permit in accordance with section 
104(e), seize the marine mammal, or cooperate with other 
persons authorized to hold marine mammals under this Act for 
disposition of the marine mammal. The Secretary may recover 
from the person expenses incurred by the Secretary for that 
seizure.
  (E) No marine mammal held pursuant to a permit issued under 
subparagraph (A), or by a person exercising rights under 
subparagraph (C), may be sold, purchased, exported, or 
transported unless the Secretary is notified of such action no 
later than 15 days before such action, and such action is for 
purposes of public display, scientific research, or enhancing 
the survival or recovery of a species or stock. The Secretary 
may only require the notification to include the information 
required for the inventory established under paragraph (10).
  (3)(A) The Secretary may issue a permit under this paragraph 
for scientific research purposes to an applicant which submits 
with its permit application information indicating that the 
taking is required to further a bona fide scientific purpose. 
The Secretary may issue a permit under this paragraph before 
the end of the public review and comment period required under 
subsection (d)(2) if delaying issuance of the permit could 
result in injury to a species, stock, or individual, or in loss 
of unique research opportunities.
  (B) No permit issued for purposes of scientific research 
shall authorize the lethal taking of a marine mammal unless the 
applicant demonstrates that a nonlethal method of conducting 
the research is not feasible. The Secretary shall not issue a 
permit for research which involves the lethal taking of a 
marine mammal from a species or stock that is depleted, unless 
the Secretary determines that the results of such research will 
directly benefit that species or stock, or that such research 
fulfills a critically important research need.
  (C) Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of 
the Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994, the 
Secretary shall issue a general authorization and implementing 
regulations allowing bona fide scientific research that may 
result only in taking by Level B harassment of a marine mammal. 
Such authorization shall apply to persons which submit, by 60 
days before commencement of such research, a letter of intent 
via certified mail to the Secretary containing the following:
          (i) The species or stocks of marine mammals which may 
        be harassed.
          (ii) The geographic location of the research.
          (iii) The period of time over which the research will 
        be conducted.
          (iv) The purpose of the research, including a 
        description of how the definition of bona fide research 
        as established under this Act would apply.
          (v) Methods to be used to conduct the research.
Not later than 30 days after receipt of a letter of intent to 
conduct scientific research under the general authorization, 
the Secretary shall issue a letter to the applicant confirming 
that the general authorization applies, or, if the proposed 
research is likely to result in the taking (including Level A 
harassment) of a marine mammal, shall notify the applicant that 
subparagraph (A) applies.
  (4)(A) A permit may be issued for enhancing the survival or 
recovery of a species or stock only with respect to a species 
or stock for which the Secretary, after consultation with the 
Marine Mammal Commission and after notice and opportunity for 
public comment, has first determined that--
          (i) taking or importation is likely to contribute 
        significantly to maintaining or increasing distribution 
        or numbers necessary to ensure the survival or recovery 
        of the species or stock; and
          (ii) taking or importation is consistent (I) with any 
        conservation plan adopted by the Secretary under 
        section 115(b) of this title or any recovery plan 
        developed under section 4(f) of the Endangered Species 
        Act of 1973 for the species or stock, or (II) if there 
        is no conservation or recovery plan in place, with the 
        Secretary's evaluation of actions required to enhance 
        the survival or recovery of the species or stock in 
        light to the factors that would be addressed in a 
        conservation plan or a recovery plan.
  (B) A permit issued in accordance with this paragraph may 
allow the captive maintenance of a marine mammal from a 
depleted species or stock only if the Secretary--
          (i) determines that captive maintenance is likely to 
        contribute to the survival or recovery of the species 
        or stock by maintaining a viable gene pool, increasing 
        productivity, providing biological information, or 
        establishing animal reserves;
          (ii) determines that the expected benefit to the 
        affected species or stock outweighs the expected 
        benefit of alternatives which do not require removal of 
        animals from the wild; and
          (iii) requires that the marine mammal or its progeny 
        be returned to the natural habitat of the species or 
        stock as soon as feasible, consistent with the 
        objectives of any applicable conservation plan or 
        recovery plan, or of any evaluation by the Secretary 
        under subparagraph (A).
The Secretary may allow the public display of such a marine 
mammal only if the Secretary determines that such display is 
incidental to the authorized maintenance and will not interfere 
with the attainment of the survival or recovery objectives.
  (5)(A) The Secretary may issue a permit for the importation 
of polar bear parts (other than internal organs) taken in sport 
hunts in Canada to an applicant which submits with its permit 
application proof that the polar bear was legally harvested in 
Canada by the applicant. Such a permit shall be issued if the 
Secretary, in consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission 
and after notice and opportunity for public comment, finds 
that--
          (i) Canada has a monitored and enforced sport hunting 
        program consistent with the purposes of the Agreement 
        on the Conservation of Polar Bears;
          (ii) Canada has a sport hunting program based on 
        scientifically sound quotas ensuring the maintenance of 
        the affected population stock at a sustainable level;
          (iii) the export and subsequent import are consistent 
        with the provisions of the Convention on International 
        Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and 
        other international agreements and conventions; and
          (iv) the export and subsequent import are not likely 
        to contribute to illegal trade in bear parts.
  (B) The Secretary shall establish and charge a reasonable fee 
for permits issued under this paragraph. All fees collected 
under this paragraph shall be available to the Secretary until 
expended for use in developing and implementing cooperative 
research and management programs for the conservation of polar 
bears in Alaska and Russia pursuant to section 113(d).
  (C)(i) The Secretary shall undertake a scientific review of 
the impact of permits issued under this paragraph on the polar 
bear population stocks in Canada within 2 years after the date 
of enactment of this paragraph. The Secretary shall provide an 
opportunity for public comment during the course of such 
review, and shall include a response to such public comment in 
the final report on such review.
  (ii) The Secretary shall not issue permits under this 
paragraph after September 30, 1996, if the Secretary 
determines, based on the scientific review, that the issuance 
of permits under this paragraph is having a significant adverse 
impact on the polar bear population stocks in Canada. The 
Secretary may review such determination annually thereafter, in 
light of the best scientific information available, and shall 
complete the review not later than January 31 in any year a 
review is undertaken. The Secretary may issue permits under 
this paragraph whenever the Secretary determines, on the basis 
of such annual review, that the issuance of permits under this 
paragraph is not having a significant adverse impact on the 
polar bear population stocks in Canada.
  [(D) The Secretary of the Interior shall, expeditiously after 
the expiration of the applicable 30 day period under subsection 
(d)(2), issue a permit for the importation of polar bear parts 
(other than internal organs) from polar bears taken in sport 
hunts in Canada before the date of enactment of the Marine 
Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994, to each applicant who 
submits, with the permit application, proof that the polar bear 
was legally harvested in Canada by the applicant. The Secretary 
shall issue such permits without regard to the provisions of 
subparagraphs (A) and (C)(ii) of this paragraph, subsection 
(d)(3) of this section, and sections 101 and 102. This 
subparagraph shall not apply to polar bear parts that were 
imported before the effective date of this subparagraph.]
  (D)(i) The Secretary of the Interior shall, expeditiously 
after the expiration of the applicable 30-day period under 
subsection (d)(2), issue a permit for the importation of any 
polar bear part (other than an internal organ) from a polar 
bear taken in a sport hunt in Canada to any person--
          (I) who submits, with the permit application, proof 
        that the polar bear was legally harvested by the person 
        before February 18, 1997; or
          (II) who has submitted, in support of a permit 
        application submitted before May 15, 2008, proof that 
        the polar bear was legally harvested by the person 
        before May 15, 2008, from a polar bear population from 
        which a sport-hunted trophy could be imported before 
        that date in accordance with section 18.30(i) of title 
        50, Code of Federal Regulations.
  (ii) The Secretary shall issue permits under clause (i)(I) 
without regard to subparagraphs (A) and (C)(ii) of this 
paragraph, subsection (d)(3), and sections 101 and 102. 
Sections 101(a)(3)(B) and 102(b)(3) shall not apply to the 
importation of any polar bear part authorized by a permit 
issued under clause (i)(I). This clause shall not apply to 
polar bear parts that were imported before June 12, 1997.
  (iii) The Secretary shall issue permits under clause (i)(II) 
without regard to subparagraph (C)(ii) of this paragraph or 
subsection (d)(3). Sections 101(a)(3)(B) and 102(b)(3) shall 
not apply to the importation of any polar bear part authorized 
by a permit issued under clause (i)(II). This clause shall not 
apply to polar bear parts that were imported before the date of 
enactment of the Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 
2013.
  (6) A permit may be issued for photography for educational or 
commercial purposes involving marine mammals in the wild only 
to an applicant which submits with its permit application 
information indicating that the taking will be limited to Level 
B harassment, and the manner in which the products of such 
activities will be made available to the public.
  (7) Upon request by a person for a permit under paragraph 
(2), (3), or (4) for a marine mammal which is in the possession 
of any person authorized to possess it under this Act and which 
is determined under guidance under section 402(a) not to be 
releasable to the wild, the Secretary shall issue the permit to 
the person requesting the permit if that person--
          (A) meets the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and 
        (iii) of paragraph (2)(A), in the case of a request for 
        a permit under paragraph (2);
          (B) meets the requirements of paragraph (3), in the 
        case of a request for a permit under that paragraph; or
          (C) meets the requirements of paragraph (4), in the 
        case of a request for a permit under that paragraph.
  (8)(A) No additional permit or authorization shall be 
required to possess, sell, purchase, transport, export, or 
offer to sell or purchase the progeny of marine mammals taken 
or imported under this subsection, if such possession, sale, 
purchase, transport, export, or offer to sell or purchase is--
          (i) for the purpose of public display, and by or to, 
        respectively, a person which meets the requirements of 
        clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of paragraph (2)(A);
          (ii) for the purpose of scientific research, and by 
        or to, respectively, a person which meets the 
        requirements of paragraph (3); or
          (iii) for the purpose of enhancing the survival or 
        recovery of a species or stock, and by or to, 
        respectively, a person which meets the requirements of 
        paragraph (4).
  (B)(i) A person which has a permit under paragraph (2), or a 
person exercising rights under paragraph (2)(C), which has 
possession of a marine mammal that gives birth to progeny 
shall--
          (I) notify the Secretary of the birth of such progeny 
        within 30 days after the date of birth; and
          (II) notify the Secretary of the sale, purchase, or 
        transport of such progeny no later than 15 days before 
        such action.
  (ii) The Secretary may only require notification under clause 
(i) to include the information required for the inventory 
established under paragraph (10).
  (C) Any progeny of a marine mammal born in captivity before 
the date of the enactment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
Amendments of 1994 and held in captivity for the purpose of 
public display shall be treated as though born after that date 
of enactment.
  (9) No marine mammal may be exported for the purpose of 
public display, scientific research, or enhancing the survival 
or recovery of a species or stock unless the receiving facility 
meets standards that are comparable to the requirements that a 
person must meet to receive a permit under this subsection for 
that purpose.
  (10) The Secretary shall establish and maintain an inventory 
of all marine mammals possessed pursuant to permits issued 
under paragraph (2)(A), by persons exercising rights under 
paragraph (2)(C), and all progeny of such marine mammals. The 
inventory shall contain, for each marine mammal, only the 
following information which shall be provided by a person 
holding a marine mammal under this Act:
          (A) The name of the marine mammal or other 
        identification.
          (B) The sex of the marine mammal.
          (C) The estimated or actual birth date of the marine 
        mammal.
          (D) The date of acquisition or disposition of the 
        marine mammal by the permit holder.
          (E) The source from whom the marine mammal was 
        acquired including the location of the take from the 
        wild, if applicable.
          (F) If the marine mammal is transferred, the name of 
        the recipient.
          (G) A notation if the animal was acquired as the 
        result of a stranding.
          (H) The date of death of the marine mammal and the 
        cause of death when determined.
  (d)(1) The Secretary shall prescribe such procedures as are 
necessary to carry out this section, including the form and 
manner in which application for permits may be made.
  (2) The Secretary shall publish notice in the Federal 
Register of each application made for a permit under this 
section. Such notice shall invite the submission from 
interested parties, within thirty days after the date of the 
notice, of written data or views, with respect to the taking or 
importation proposed in such application.
  (3) The applicant for any permit under this section must 
demonstrate to the Secretary that the taking or importation of 
any marine mammal under such permit will be consistent with the 
purposes of this Act and the applicable regulations established 
under section 103 of this title.
  (4) If within thirty days after the date of publication of 
notice pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection with 
respect to any application for a permit any interested party or 
parties request a hearing in connection therewith, the 
Secretary may, within sixty days following such date of 
publication, afford to such party or parties an opportunity for 
such a hearing.
  (5) As soon as practicable (but not later than thirty days) 
after the close of the hearing or, if no hearing is held, after 
the last day on which data, or views, may be submitted pursuant 
to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretary shall (A) 
issue a permit containing such terms and conditions as he deems 
appropriate, or (B) shall deny issuance of a permit. Notice of 
the decision of the Secretary to issue or to deny any permit 
under this paragraph must be published in the Federal Register 
within ten days after the date of issuance or denial.
  (6) Any applicant for a permit, or any party opposed to such 
permit, may obtain judicial review of the terms and conditions 
of any permit issued by the Secretary under this section or of 
his refusal to issue such a permit. Such review, which shall be 
pursuant to chapter 7 of Title 5, United States Code, may be 
initiated by filing a petition for review in the United States 
district court for the district wherein the applicant for a 
permit resides, or has his principal place of business, or in 
the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 
within sixty days after the date on which such permit is issued 
or denied.
  (e)(1) The Secretary may modify, suspend, or revoke in whole 
or part any permit issued by him under this section--
          (A) in order to make any such permit consistent with 
        any change made after the date of issuance of such 
        permit with respect to any applicable regulation 
        prescribed under section 103 of this title,
          (B) in any case in which a violation of the terms and 
        conditions of the permit is found, or
          (C) if, in the case of a permit under subsection 
        (c)(5) authorizing importation of polar bear parts, the 
        Secretary, in consultation with the appropriate 
        authority in Canada, determines that the sustainability 
        of Canada's polar bear population stocks are being 
        adversely affected or that sport hunting may be having 
        a detrimental effect on maintaining polar bear 
        population stocks throughout their range.
  (2) Whenever the Secretary shall propose any modification, 
suspension, or revocation of a permit under this subsection, 
the permittee shall be afforded opportunity, after due notice, 
for a hearing by the Secretary with respect to such proposed 
modification, suspension, or revocation. Such proposed action 
by the Secretary shall not take effect until a decision is 
issued by him after such hearing. Any action taken by the 
Secretary after such a hearing is subject to judicial review on 
the same basis as is any action taken by him with respect to a 
permit application under paragraph (5) of subsection (d) of 
this section.
  (3) Notice of the modification, suspension, or revocation of 
any permit by the Secretary shall be published in the Federal 
Register within ten days from the date of the Secretary's 
decision.
  (f) Any permit issued under this section must be in the 
possession of the person to whom it is issued (or an agent of 
such person) during--
          (1) the time of the authorized or taking importation;
          (2) the period of any transit of such person or agent 
        which is incident to such taking or importation; and
          (3) any other time while any marine mammal taken or 
        imported under such permit is in the possession of such 
        person or agent.
A duplicate copy of the issued permit must be physically 
attached to the container, package, enclosure, or other means 
of containment, in which the marine mammal is placed for 
purposes of storage, transit, supervision, or care.
  (g) The Secretary shall establish and charge a reasonable fee 
for permits issued under this section.
  (h) General Permits.--
          (1) Consistent with the regulations prescribed 
        pursuant to section 103 of this title and to the 
        requirements of section 101 of this title, the 
        Secretary may issue an annual permit to a United States 
        purse seine fishing vessel for the taking of such 
        marine mammals, and shall issue regulations to cover 
        the use of any such annual permits.
          (2) Such annual permits for the incidental taking of 
        marine mammals in the course of commercial purse seine 
        fishing for yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical 
        Pacific Ocean shall be governed by section 306 of this 
        Act, subject to the regulations issued pursuant to 
        section 303 of this Act.

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                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    H.R. 1818 directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue a 
permit for the importation of polar bear trophies taken in a 
sport hunt in Canada, if legally harvested before May 15, 
2008--the date of the polar bear's threatened listing under the 
Endangered Species Act. This legislation would provide an 
exception to the Marine Mammal Protection Act's prohibition on 
trade in marine mammal parts. At issue is the importation of 
approximately 40 polar bears that were killed in April and May 
of 2008. The individuals that killed the bears believe that 
they complied with all the requirements of the law for 
importing their trophies and had submitted their permit 
applications, but were unable to get their permits approved 
before the listing went into effect on May 15, 2008. They have 
not been allowed to import the trophies into the United States.
    A similar bill which we opposed passed the House in the 
112th Congress as part of H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen's Heritage 
Act. We were concerned that bill would have established a 
precedent and provided an incentive for other trophy hunters to 
seek similar exemptions for their own prospective hunts despite 
the fact that the species has now been listed. However this 
year's version significantly narrows the universe of polar bear 
parts that could be imported by making eligible only those 
trophies for which an application was submitted before the date 
of Endangered Species Act listing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service supports H.R. 1818, and we believe the bill is a fair 
compromise to remedy a unique and difficult situation. It 
should not set a precedent for taking lightly exemptions to 
trade in protected species.

                                   Peter DeFazio,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Natural Resources.
                                   Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan,
                                           Ranking Member, Subcommittee 
                                               on Fisheries, Wildlife, 
                                               Oceans, and Insular 
                                               Affairs.