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Vietnamese catfish processing plant. (Photo: CL-FISH)

Regulations for catfish exports to US to be tightened

  (VIET NAM, 4/24/2017)

Starting September 1, Vietnamese pangasius imported by the Unites States (US) will be treated the same way as domestically produced catfish and will be subject to the scrutiny of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Given this decision, from the ninth month of the year, Vietnamese authorities will tighten regulations concerning pangasius exports towards the North American country, as it was stated by Tran Dinh Luan, Fisheries Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The director explained that Vietnam will have to submit documentation showing the equivalence of pangasius inspection system with that of the US so as to meet the new import requirements.

These import requirements concern the whole supply chain from the broodstock, hatchery, grown-up fish farms, processing plants to the programs for water quality and chemical residues.

This new US regulation comes at a time where pangasius continues to be a battled fish in the European market, where there are strict international food safety regulations. Together with the food inspection services at ports of entry in the European market, these systems guarantee that pangasius that arrives in the European market is completely safe for human consumption.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP) stresses that this fact has been confirmed by scientific research carried out by a team from Wageningen University in 2016, which demonstrates that the fish is completely safe to eat and that stories about the fish being toxic are complete rubbish.

On top of that, the top 20 pangasius exporters to the European market that account for 80 per cent of the export value, all have integrated production with farms that are all ASC certified. This clearly demonstrates their responsible farming with care for the environment, the workers and local communities.

 “Therefore, we are committed to continue to support the industry and grow together with our partners in the international markets,” VASEP concluded.

VASEP's representatives are to offer a press conference on the topic on Tuesday at Brussel's Seafood Expo Global.

 
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