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Sardine Trade Becomes Closely Monitored

BRAZIL - The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture has issued a set of instructions for the sale of sardines, imported or domestic, into the country, as well as for exports.

Last month, technical norms have been issued for sales of sardine preserves in Brazil. The sector, for which there was no specific regulation for quality and identity thus far, now has rules that must be observed by Brazilian manufacturers that sell domestically and abroad, as well as foreign industries that sell to the Brazilian market, reports Brazil-ArabNewsAgency.

The norm sets forth how the products must be labelled and what their quality standard must be.

According to the head of the Fishery and Derivatives Inspection Division at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Paulo Humberto de Lima Araújo, although a set of specific norms for the product has just been issued, the industry already complied with the parameters set forth in the Normative Instruction.

The Instruction is numbered 22 and was published by the Ministry on 12 July on the Official Gazette.

Morocco, for instance, an Arab country that exports sardines to Brazil, including preserves, already meets with the requirements, according to Mr Araújo.

Brazil also exports sardines to the Arab world. The volume shipped, however, is low. The Brazilian industry exported $53,000 worth of sardine concoctions and preserves to the Arab countries, more specifically to the Emirates, from January to July. On the other hand, Brazil imported $602,000 from Morocco, in the region, during the period.

According to Mr Araújo, the instruction sets standards, for example, for the amount of water and oil that the preserves are allowed to contain, a chart of defects, including requirements concerning tolerance to issues in packaging cans, among others.

The norm posits that the meat should account for a minimum of 50 per cent of the declared net weight, the preserve must not contain hydrolysed proteins, must be free from microorganisms capable of developing in normal storage, distribution and sales conditions, and the species must be in keeping with the labelling, among others.

The head of the Fishery and Derivatives Inspection Division explains that the text of the instruction was made available for public consultation to then be completed.

It also applies to Brazilian exports, except in cases when the importing market has different rules. According to Mr Araújo, normative instructions should be issued soon for preserves of tuna and fish in general. The forecast is for it to take place within two months.

In the latter fields, especially tuna, Brazil has a much larger trade volume with the Arab world.

the Fish Site Editor

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