Life made easier for seafood exporters to Japan, Canada
By Thai Hang - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working to ease regulations on chemical substance and antibiotic residue inspections of seafood shipments bound for Japan and Canada, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
According to VASEP, the ministry has scrapped Decision 2654/QD-BNN-QLCL it issued in 2011 to strictly examine seafood exports to Canada and Japan.
The decision required all shipments of shrimp, octopus, tra and basa fish and processed products bound for the Canadian and Japanese markets be inspected for Enrofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin residues. Especially, only shipments which are already checked and granted with quality and food safety certifications in line with the decision could be shipped to the two countries.
Now the ministry just monitors shipments of exporters that have got Japanese warnings over violations regarding food safety and hygiene, antibiotic and chemical residues.
Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, said the cancellation of the decision helps local exporters save time and money as Japanese buyers checks 100% of seafood imports from Vietnam, anyway. On top of that, the decision forces local exporters to carefully check their products prior to delivery.
“Canceling the decision also ensures fairness among companies in the industry. Those companies able to safeguard the quality of their products will win,” Hoe said.
The ministry’s latest move comes as many fish exporters have repeatedly complained that the decision cut into their export performance.
According to VASEP, the Food Safety Law, effective from July last year, provides that relevant authorities will only grant Certificate of Origin (C/O) for those importers asking for it. In fact, Japan doesn’t request this documentation from exporters.