Thai shrimp farmers protest new Australian import rules

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
13 February 2007, at 12:00am

BANGKOK - A group of 50 shrimp farmers from southern Thailand submitted a letter to a representative of the Australian embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday protesting Canberra's new import rules.

A group led by Thai Marine Shrimp Farmers' Association president Dr. Surapol Pratuangtum requested that the Australian government re-consider its implementation of new import risk analysis (IRA) procedures to block shrimp imports from Thailand.

Australia recently released a draft import risk analysis (IRA) paper regarding new standards imposed on shrimp imports. It requires certifications to guarantee that Thai shrimp products are free from marine diseases.

Claiming that Thai shrimps contained five strains of virus, the measure provided that concerned agencies submit a confirmation of their enforcing corrective measures for the safety of consumers no later than 21 February before the analysis is approved and takes effect.

Based on the fact that free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and Australia is now taking effect, Thai shrimp farmers said that the Australian measure is unfair for Thailand. In fact, the Thai side said, the measure is to protect their own approximately 100 shrimp farms. Moreover. the about 300,000 Thai shrimp farmers will be affected by this measure.

Meanwhile they urged the Thai government to negotiate and press for the Australian government.

Source: MCOT News