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Việt Nam’s seafood exports to EU fall

Update: May, 25/2018 - 19:00
Việt Nam’s tuna exports to the EU in April fell by 10 per cent year-on-year. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese seafood exports to the European Union last month crashed over a shortage in EU-compliant raw materials, the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said.

In April, Việt Nam’s tuna exports to the EU fell by 10 per cent year-on-year, while squid and octopus exports decreased by 41 per cent and mollusk exports went down by 19 per cent, VASEP said.

VASEP General Secretary Trương Đình Hòe said the decline was due mainly to a shortage in raw materials for processing. While demand for Vietnamese seafood exports to the EU is currently quite large, the number of exploited seafood meeting the EU’s requirements in traceability is not high.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said the three provinces that specialise in tuna fishing caught about 7,400 tonnes in the first four months of 2018, down 14 per cent year-on-year. Bình Định saw the steepest drop in tuna output at 18 per cent year-on-year with just 4,150 tonnes caught.

Vĩnh Thuận Sài Gòn Seafood Company Director Trần Ngọc Tươi said domestic supply could meet only 40 per cent of her company’s capacity. Because EU importers only accept products that come from Vietnamese waters, this lack of materials has affected the company’s revenues, she said. 

The decrease in Vietnamese seafood exports to the EU shows that the yellow card slapped on Việt Nam by the union due to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has begun to affect EU shipments negatively, VASEP said. 

While domestic exporters are making efforts to meet EU requirements on IUU, a lack of experience in conducting procedures in the field, especially in the export of products that are sourced from many ships and localities, has affected export activities, it said.

On October 23, 2017, the European Commission (EC) issued a "yellow card" warning to Việt Nam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing. 

The EC required the Vietnamese seafood industry to implement nine recommendations between October 23, 2017 and April 23, 2018. 

A delegation of the European Commission is visiting Việt Nam from May 15-24 to check on the country’s compliance with measures against IUU fishing. The EU is expected to decide on whether to withdraw the “yellow card” from Vietnamese offshore seafood exports after the inspection. — VNS


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