Aquaculture for all

Russian inspectors satisfied with seafood quality

VIET NAM - Russian food safety inspectors have shown satisfaction at Vietnamese fish processors' efforts to improve hygiene and safety standards, making it easier for local firms to send shipments to Russia, an official said.

Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance highly evaluated Vietnam's fishery industry after completing a ten-day inspection at 19 processors in the Mekong Delta, said Nguyen Tu Cuong, head of the National Fisheries Quality Assurance and Veterinary Directorate Department (Nafiquaved).

Cuong said that Russian inspectors appreciated fisheries breeding procedures, water treatment in ponds and the high quality control procedures of Ben Tre Province's aquatic farming.

"The inspectors are basically satisfied about local fishery hygiene and safety quality control, recognising that Vietnam has responded to their warning in May this year," he said.

Cuong noted that Nafiquaved and the Russian agency was about to sign a deal that wouto pave the way for Vietnam's fishery exports to return to Russia, particularly catfish.

The Russian Government banned seafood products from many foreign countries in April. Vietnamese shipments were cited as failing to meet Russia's hygiene quality standards.

Before the ban, Vietnam's fisheries processors were highly successful in penetrating Russia's seafood market, as shipments there increased by 16 times in the past three years. Exports to Russia accounted for 11.2 per cent of Vietnam's total fish exports, generating total revenue of US$661mil.

However, due to Russia's import ban, Vietnam's seafood products sent to Russia in the first five months of this year increased by only two per compared to the same period of last year. <

Test equipment investment
The Vietnamese ministries of Trade and Finance have recently sent a document requesting the Government to spend VND50bil to purchase equipment for testing amino oxazolidinone that is prohibited in seafood products shipped to Japan.

Nafiquaved is due to name 56 enterprises that are exempted from hygiene examination when shipping seafood to Japan. Their products have been claimed clean for many consecutive shipments since early June.

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