Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has allowed an additional 12 Vietnamese catfish companies to export to the US, raising the total number of exporters to 57.
The US is the leading export market for Vietnamese catfish.
FSIS, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) made the decision following a proposal from the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Việt Nam, according to Việt Nam’s Government portal.
Nafiqad has asked FSIS to reconsider the remaining four companies, which have yet to be added to the list.
The statement also said that newly approved companies had been asked to closely control their processing operations to make sure their export products meet strict FSIS requirements.
Exporters of catfish and other Siluriformes fish have been struggling with the USDA’s Final Rule, which took effect in March. It regulates locally raised and imported catfish Siluriformes.
Under the rule, domestic and international catfish producers have an 18-month transitional implementation period.
On May 25, the US Senate voted to cancel the US Department of Agriculture’s inspection programme on catfish imports. But the vote must be taken up by the US House of Representatives as well.
Việt Nam’s export value of catfish to the US rose 7.2 per cent to US$115.1 million from January to April, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
VASEP expects the export value of catfish to the US to increase by about 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the second quarter.
Việt Nam’s catfish exports are estimated to reach $1.5 billion this year, a drop of 5 per cent from last year, VASEP said.
The anti-dumping tariff, the US catfish inspection programme and competition with white-flesh fish have all been blamed for the decline in catfish exports, according to VASEP. — VNS