Shrimps being processed for export at Thông Thuận Seafood Co in the southern province of Ninh Thuan. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HÀ NỘI — Australia has lifted the ban it imposed in January on uncooked Vietnamese shrimp products. Vietnamese companies may resume importing raw prawns caught in Australia for processing and export them to Australia for consumption.
The decision was made after the Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources received written confirmation by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) under Việt Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that “it can meet conditions included in the updated health certificate.”
The department “will be accepting permit applications for uncooked Australian wild caught prawns exported to Viet Nam for processing and re-imported into Australia from 15 June 2017,” it wrote in a statement released on its website on Thursday.
The department also said its “Biosecurity Import Conditions database system has been updated to reflect the new requirements.”
In addition, import permit applications for Australian wild prawns processed in countries other than Việt Nam “will be accepted once the competent authorities in these countries provide assurance that they meet Australia’s new import conditions.”
This has helped lift the temporary ban made by Australia in January on shrimp exports from Asian countries, including Việt Nam, on worries about the white spot outbreak in the country.
In February, the department loosened the ban on dried prawns, shelf-stable prawn-based food products and other products caught from the exclusive economic zone of Australia as the risk of white spot virus outbreak was low on these products.
In May, Việt Nam’s ministries of Industry and Trade and Agriculture and Rural Development urged Australian agencies to consider lifting the ban on Vietnamese shrimp imports, reporting the damage to Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to Australia. According to the Việt Nam Trade Office in Australia, this is the seventh largest prawn market for Việt Nam, accounting for 3.6 per cent of Việt Nam’s total shrimp exports.
In 2016, Việt Nam exported US$114.6 million worth of shrimp products to Australia, of which processed shrimps made up 78 per cent of the total.
In the last five years, Việt Nam has been the biggest shrimp product supplier to Australia and demand for prawn products in the country is forecast to rise.
In addition, Australia focusses on importing products from main suppliers, a major advantage for its top shrimp providers, including Việt Nam. — VNS