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Pangasius fillets for export. (Photo: CL-FISH)

Pangasius shipments to US continue stable after recovering in Q2

  (VIET NAM, 8/18/2017)

Vietnamese pangasius exports to the United States declined in the first quarter due to a shortage of raw materials, but recovered in the second quarter with an 8.4 per cent increase thanks to rising demand, as announced by Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

VASEP also informed that pangasius shipments to the American market have no changed since August 2, when all batches of products of Siluriformes fish that are to be shipped to the United States will have to undergo food safety tests.

Concerned about the catfish inspection program, VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe pointed out that, while the equivalence process is not yet finished, during the 18-month transitional period, both sides have worked out cooperative approaches to common issues in question and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also given close guidance on how to comply with the US requirements.

After receiving the official letter of the FSIS informing ahead schedule inspection of Siluriformes fish (starting August 02. 2017 instead of September 01, 2017), the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) has provided guidance to establishments eligible for exports to the US on the inspection requirements regarding labeling, detailed inspection contents, testing parameters for chemicals residues and speciation, among others.

NAFIQAD is also preparing a complete equivalence package to be submitted to FSIS on August 20. After that, FSIS will initiate the review process of the submitted documentation, and if the submission provides an initial basis for believing the country to be equivalent, FSIS will do an in-country audit.

Although Hoe believes that Vietnam pangasius industry has been well developed with substantial and stringent food safety control system to be determined equivalent, he expressed a concern that an import discrimination policy from the US government may cause unfavorable and unfair decision against Vietnam.

VASEP hopes that there will be solutions by both governments not to disrupt free trade between the two countries.

Related article:

- All pangasius imports to be inspected by FSIS since August 


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