09:42 | 10/12/2015 Trade
Relevant Vietnamese agencies have been requested to thoroughly study the US’s regulations imposed on Vietnam’s tra and basa fish in order to employ measures to ensure that exports continue.
The task has been placed on the shoulders of the National Agro-Forestry -Fisheries Quality Assurance Department and the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) , the Directorate of Fisheries and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the wake of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s recent ruling establishing an inspection programme for fish under the Siluriformes order, including Vietnam’s tra and basa fish.
MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat said the US’s swift implementation of its inspection programme, scheduled for March 2016, will cause a range of difficulties for Vietnamese exporters and managers.
Vietnam will have a transitional period of 18 months, starting from March 2016, during which the country has to prove that its tra and basa fish production management system is similar enough to the US’s.
The final rule, released by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on November 25, will be applied on both locally raised and imported Siluriformes fish.
The rule’s effective date of March 2016 begins an 18-month transitional implementation period for both domestic and international producers. On the effective date, all Siluriformes fish, including catfish, will be under the regulatory jurisdiction of FSIS and no longer regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Before that date, countries currently exporting products to the US who wish to continue doing so must provide a list of establishments that currently export, as well as written documentation of their regulatory authority and compliance with existing FDA import requirements.
During the 18-month transitional period, FSIS will re-inspect and conduct species and residue sampling on imported Siluriformes fish shipments at least quarterly at US import establishments.
VASEP said tra exports to the US fell recently when businesses had to pay a high anti-dumping tax of nearly 1 USD per kg, causing difficulties for Vietnamese exporters and American importers./.