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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: EU implements random testing of Indian seafood  (อ่าน 2205 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: พฤษภาคม 04, 2010, 07:20:44 AM »


Raw Indian prawns. India began certifying its seafood shipments to the EU this year. (Photo: FIS)

EU implements random testing of Indian seafood

INDIA
Monday, May 03, 2010, 23:50 (GMT + 9)



In March, the EU Health Authority recommended the random testing of 20 per cent or more of the aquaculture products imported from India for antibiotic residue and micro-organisms, among other tests, according to the reports of the technical committee on seafood imports to the European bloc.

This new development has the potential of causing mass delays for the consignments destined for Europe and a consequent drop in exports to that region, noted officials from the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).

Recurrent rejections of farmed freshwater prawn exports to the EU in the early part of 2009 led EU authorities to make their newly implemented decision.

India counts the EU as one of its main importers of domestic aquaculture products and thus represents a vital market. Aquaculture exports to the EU make up nearly 32 per cent of the value of total seafood exports, according to the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), reports Financial Express India.

The EU has been tightening its import regulations by boosting its environmental and health standards. Starting on 1 January 2010, India and other countries have had to attach catch certificates to all their seafood shipments to the region indicating the origin of the products if they were to be accepted.

This rule was implemented by the EU in hopes that it would help reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Brussels-based Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) is responsible for ensuring the safety of food products imported into the EU and has the power to reject and ban imports that do not meet its standards. Following FVO’s biennial audit of Indian seafood testing laboratories, the office told the Indian government in a letter that the Indian method of residue monitoring and testing was structurally flawed and useless.

FVO was particularly concerned because Indian authorities did not address its concerns voiced by previous audit teams in 2003 and 2006.

“Currently, only random sampling is done on exports consignments and compulsory checking of 20 per cent of the volume of the consignments would lead to unnecessary delays and higher costs,” said Leena Nair, chairperson of MPEDA.

She believes the EU’s latest decision is redundant because Indian authorities are already aware of the residual problems.

Indian exporters fear consumers will switch to their competitors’ products if their own begin to arrive with delays and apprehensions.

Related article:

- EU may test 20 per cent of farmed fish imports


By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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