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Fish exports to US to be tested

Update: July, 09/2016 - 09:52
Siluriformes fish products, meant for export to the United States, will undergo safety tests from July 17 to October 15. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI Siluriformes fish products, meant for export to the United States, will undergo safety tests from July 17 to October 15, the National Agro–Forestry–Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) said.

Siluriformes fish include tra, basa, trê and lăng fish.

Samples will be taken from all batches of fish products manufactured by factories that are eligible to export their products to the United States. These samples will be tested for the presence of salmonella, malachite green/leuco malachite green, enrofloxacin/ciprofloxacin and crystal violet.

Only when the samples clear the tests and are certified by regional centres for Agro – Forestry – Fisheries Quality can the batches be allowed to be exported.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s NAFIDAQ has requested all relevant firms to register for the examination and certification of their products.

In March this year, the United States released a list of eligible catfish exporters from four countries, including 23 from Việt Nam, who could ship their products to the American market.

The total export value of tra fish reached US$616 million in the first six months of this year, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). The European Union and the American markets account for about half of the total tra fish exports.

The VASEP said tra fish exports turnover this year would touch $1.5 billion, a fall of 5 per cent compared with 2015.

The decrease could be attributed to the enforcement of trade and technical barriers in many import markets as well as low consumption demand there.

Việt Nam is now shipping tra fish to 150 countries and territories worldwide.

HCMC seafood exporters’ concern

Seafood exporters were worried by the announcement of HCM City Seafood Security and Quality Management Department to stop granting catch certificates for fish caught outside the city from August 1.

This was because many seafood exporters in HCM City bought raw fish from a number of provinces in Thanh Hóa, Bà Rịa –Vũng Tàu, Bình Thuận, Sóc Trăng to Cà Mau provinces to be processed at their plants based in the southern city for exports.

It would take more time and be more costly for firms as they might have to travel to other provinces rather than HCM City to ask for catch certificates, according to Phạm Hải Long, general director of Agrex Saigon Foodstuffs Joint Stock Company.

According to the department’s director Trần Đình Vĩnh, the department would not grant catch certificates for firms which did not buy fish caught in HCM City, in line with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Circular 50/2015.

This might create problems for seafood exporters, Vĩnh said.

Vĩnh said that the department was willing to provide support to seafood exporters if it was permitted by the Directorate of Fisheries.

VASEP’s general secretary Trương Đình Hòe said catch certificates were compulsory for firms to export seafood products to the European markets.

The US might also require catch certificates in the future, Hòe said.

The association proposed to local departments that they link up with each other to make the granting of catch certificates more convenient.

The association’s statistics showed that seafood exported touched US$3.1 billion in the first half of this year, rising by 3.8 per cent over the same period last year. — VNS

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