Shrimps for export. The EC lowered its crystal violet dye standard for fish from 2.0 PPB to 0.5 PPB. (Photo: Stock File)
EC rule strands shrimp consignments in ports
Monday, July 12, 2010, 08:20 (GMT + 9)
Hundreds of Bangladeshi shrimp consignments remain stranded in different ports of the world as new European Commission (EC) rules demanding health certificates of the items barred entry to the European states, official sources said.
The Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) recently sought government assistance to resolve the problem immediately, The New Nation reports.
The EC recently set criteria that it won't allow shrimp and fish containing crystal violet (one kind of dye) more than 0.5 parts per billion (PPB). At present shrimp consignments are being exported carrying certificate of crystal violet limit 2.0 PPB.
The EC also set the same criteria for China. However, Deputy Director of Fish Inspection and Quality Control (FIQC) Khulna region Dr Mosleh Uddin confirmed that the government has started to issue new types of certificates per requirement of the EC.
About fifty per cent of country's total shrimp export worth USD 225 million goes to the EU.
BFFEA vice president Kazi Shahnewaz stated in a letter to the secretary of the ministry of fisheries that shrimp consignments worth USD 200 million are being stranded in different ships and ports of the country.
Bangladeshi shrimp exports suffered a big setback last year following the repeated detection of nitrofuran bacteria in several consignments. The export of the item resumed on 12 June this year after a self-imposed ban of over seven months. In May last year Bangladesh halted the export of fresh water shrimp (galda) to the EU after 54 consignments were rejected between late 2008 and early 2009 due to an EC 'rapid alert' notice.
Nitrofuran, an antibiotic believed to be cancerous is an ingredient of a widely used agricultural input called Furadin in Bangladesh.
Export earnings from the frozen food sector in fiscal year 2007-08 was about USD 534.07 million; this shrank to USD 454.53 million in 2008-09.
Bangladesh lost its shrimp market in Europe to Thailand, India and Vietnam during the ban.
BFFEA president Md Musa Meah said steps are being taken to resolve the problem immediately.
"New types of certificates, according to the EC requirements, were being prepared to help entrance the consignments to the EU states," he said.
- Self-imposed ban to the EU is lifted
- New law will protect seafood from toxic chemicals
- Shrimp exports halted as EU finds harmful drug
By Denise Recalde