Seafood enterprises encounter problems with specialized inspection

VCN - Seafood businesses are facing problems related to food safety certificates (H/C) of seafood raw materials imported from New Zealand for processing and export to the EU.
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Seafood enterprises encounter problems with specialized inspection
Shrimp processing for export

According to Highland Dragon Co., Ltd., regarding H/C certification of raw materials imported from New Zealand to process products exported to the EU according to Decision No. 5523/QD-BNN-CCPT dated December 21 /2023 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, recently, this company’s shipment of finished products made from raw materials imported from New Zealand were not granted appraisal for issuance of H/C by Regional Center 4 (under the Department of Processing Quality and Market Development- NAFIQPM), because the content of the HC certificate in the imported raw material dossier was not consistent with section XI - seafood export program to the EU according to Decision 5523/QD- BNN-CCPT.

Regarding Decision 5523/QD-BNN-CCPT promulgating the program to export seafood and aquatic products to the EU and the specific issue of seafood raw materials imported from New Zealand (a country that has an agreement with the EU) to process for export to the EU, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said that Europe and New Zealand have a bilateral agreement on food hygiene and safety measures applied to trade in live animals and animal products, regulated in Decision No. 97/132/EC dated December 17, 1996 and a number of other additional decisions and instructions.

Seafood shipments exported from New Zealand to the EU are implemented according to Decision 97/132/EC with the H/C form attached to the shipment agreed between the EU and New Zealand. Seafood shipments imported from New Zealand by Vietnamese businesses are also accompanied by this H/C paper.

Before February 2024, when Decision 5523/QD-BNN-CCPT had not yet taken effect, many similar shipments that businesses imported raw materials from New Zealand to process for export to the EU had been inspected, appraised and issued H/C by competent agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (units under NAFIQPM Department).

However, from February 2024 until now when Decision 5523/QD-BNN-CCPT took effect, these similar shipments have not been granted H/C certificates for export to the EU.

In order remove problems for export businesses, VASEP recommends that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development consider, review and appropriately adjust the recognition and mutual recognition with countries that have have an agreement with the EU, especially New Zealand, to comply with current regulations and international practices, not causing difficulties for production and business while still ensuring the goal of food safety control.

At the same time, the Ministry also considers issuing H/C certificates for EU export shipments originating from imported materials, as in the case of New Zealand, which are being rejected or waiting for additional shipments to promptly deliver goods to EU customers.

According to VASEP, export turnover to the EU market is negatively affected due to specialized inspection obstacles although, in the first quarter of 2024, Vietnam's seafood exports earned nearly 2 billion USD. In particular, exports to the US had a much stronger breakthrough, with a growth rate of 16% reaching 330 million USD, exports to Japan were equivalent to the same period... but Vietnamese shrimp and pangasius exports to the EU and Korean markets still have not shown clear signs of recovery.

According to Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of VASEP, to help businesses increase exports to the EU market, VASEP recently sent official dispatch No. 43/CV-VASEP to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with recommendations on removing obstacles related to H/C papers of seafood raw materials imported from New Zealand for processing and export to the EU.

By Le Thu/ Thu Phuong

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