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Cooperate to strictly control import shipments of sturgeon, taking sample at import border gate

14:27 | 30/03/2021

VCN – After a period of monitoring the situation, coordinating and taking the samples of some shipments of imported sturgeon in Lao Cai and Lang Son, the Customs authority discovered imported sturgeon did not match the license granted by the Vietnam CITES Management Authority, not match with customs declaration and not in the list of aquatic species permitted for trading in Vietnam.

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Samples of sturgeon are taken to classify and verifiy breeds, species.

Identifying species before granting veterinary certificates

The General Department of Vietnam Customs has requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate to strictly control imported sturgeon.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development directed the Department of Animal Health, in coordination with the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, to take samples of imported shipment of sturgeon and determine: breeds, species, scientific names, purebred or hybrid, whether it is consistent with CITES permits, in the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam or not before granting veterinary certificates for imported consignments of sturgeon.

Do not allow firms to bring goods to quarantine at storage locations as requested by them until the inspection results of units are available to ensure security, safety, and prevention of spreading disease and environmental protection.

CITES Management Authority will work based on the inspection conclusions of Research Institute for Aquaculture No.I (No. 91/VTS I dated March 19, 2021 and 93/VTS I dated March 20, 2021) to determine if the imported goods match with the Cites license granted by Vietnam Cites Management Authority or not. If it is not correct, Vietnam CITES Management Authority must consult with CITES Authority of China and take measures to thoroughly handle this problem, to avoid widespread import of unknown sturgeon in Vietnam.

To work with the customs authority in handling imported shipment of sturgeon not correct compared with the name of goods stated in CITES permits.

Besides that, the Directorate of Fisheries also commented on the handling of imported shipments of sturgeon that are not in the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam (Appendix VIII) issued with Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP dated March 8, 2019 of the Government stipulating a number of articles and measures to implement the Law on Fisheries in accordance with the assessment conclusion of the Research Institute of Aquaculture No.1 (No. 91/VTS I March 19, 2021 and 93/VTS I on March 20, 2021).

Directing the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 to assign staff to work with the border-gate customs branch to take samples at the import border gate, to determine imported goods whether it is on the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam (Appendix VIII) issued with Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP dated March 8, 2019 of the Government or not. In the case that it is not possible to assign staff to participate, the Institute for Aquaculture Research No.1 is requested to instruct the border-gate customs branch on how to take, store and preserve samples.

The time limit for issuing a notice of inspection result is two working days from the date of taking samples to serve as a basis for customs authority to settle clearance procedure.

Perform traceability

The General Department of Vietnam Customs also requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to direct specialised units to carry out traceability of the shipments of sturgeon and fresh animals and plants or processed for imports, notify the list of countries, territories, foreign organisations and individuals allowed to export into Vietnam to the General Department of Vietnam Customs for direction on coordination in management and monitoring when carrying out import procedures.

Unify focal point to carry out specialised inspection of sturgeon in particular and other imported goods under the field of specialised management of the ministry to ensure quick cargo clearance at the border gate.

Coordinate with ministries and agencies to review and issue warnings to prevent harmful foreign species or absent from the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam (including red lobster, crayfish, red-eared slider turtle) but have the same identity and morphology as the species listed in the list of goods permitted to be imported into Vietnam for the Customs authority for strict control measures.

Previously, implementing Official Letter No. 580/BNN-TCTS dated January 26, 2021 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on controlling the import of sturgeon for food use, on February 18, 2021, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued official dispatch No. 808/TCHQ-GSQL guiding the procedures and control of importing sturgeon.

After monitoring the implementation customs procedures and coordination, taking samples for inspection and determining the species at the Research Institute of Aquaculture No.I (under the Directorate of Fisheries) for some import shipment of sturgeon. At Lao Cai and Lang Son Customs Department, the fact showed imported sturgeon does not match the license issued by the Vietnam Cites Management Agency, it is not the same as declared in the customs declaration (Xiberi sturgeon, scientific name: Acipenser baerii), it is not on the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam, issued together with the Government's Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP dated March 8, 2019.

The first shipment of A.H Investment & Import Export Co., Ltd. registered some customs declarations at Huu Nghi Customs Branch - Lang Son international border gate to import 12 tonnes of Xiberi sturgeon from China.

Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 together with the Customs branch and the quarantine agency took samples at the enterprise's warehouse to conduct a category inspection. The inspection conclusion No. 91/VST1 showed that the goods actually imported by the firm was not correct type as declared in the customs declaration and the import permit issued by Vietnam CITES Management Authority (named Xiberi sturgeon, the name Science: Acipenser baerii).

For the consignment of 9.2 tonnes of sturgeon, declared as Xibere sturgeon originating in China of the Đ.V Agro-forestry Fisheries Company registered a customs declaration at the Lao Cai Customs Branch, after coordinating to take samples and inspection, the inspection results No. 93/VST1 showed the classification of the morphology of the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) for analysing and determining the samples are not Serbian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii Brandt 1869), those six fish samples could be a hybrid between different sturgeon species.

Based on the inspection, the goods actually imported by the enterprise did not match the category declared in the customs declaration and the import permit granted by the Vietnam CITES Management Authority (named Xiberi sturgeon, scientific name: Acipenser baerii).

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy