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Warning: seafood companies exporting on borrowed codes
24 | 08 | 2007
In order to cope with the strict control by Japanese authorities over Vietnam’s seafood exports, several Vietnamese seafood companies have tried to export their products under borrowed codes.

Nguyen Nhu Tiep, Deputy Head of the National Fisheries Quality and Veterinary Directorate (Nafiqaved), announced at the preliminary summing-up conference several days ago that many seafood companies had exported their products under others’ codes.

According to an official from Nafiqaved, the agency’s inspection showed that the number of exported consignments that were found as containing prohibited substances did not increase in the last time. Only one consignment in every 10 exported consignments was found as violating the regulations on food hygiene, and the proportion of 1/10 proves to be low. Meanwhile, the list of Vietnamese enterprises that have received warnings from Japanese authorities for exports with prohibited substances lengthens. It is because seafood companies export under borrowed codes.

“It is very risky. The Ministry of Fisheries will prohibit the borrowing of codes,” he said.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the strict inspection by Japanese authorities has led to the dramatic decrease of exports to Japan, especially shrimp products. Japan has lost its leading position in importing seafood from Vietnam.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs (GDC) showed that in May 2007 exports of shrimp products fell by 15.6% in quantity and nearly 20% in quality compared to the same period last year, 4,564 tonnes and $38.7mil, respectively.

The fact that Japanese authorities have continuously given warnings about the presence of prohibited substances in imports from Vietnam, and the tightened inspection by Vietnamese authorities both have made the value of exports drop. The average export price to Japan has dropped to $8.48/kg from the $8.94/kg level last year.

VASEP said that exports to Japan would further drop in the time to come. Meanwhile, seafood exports to the EU and US have increased by 30% and 10.4%, respectively, reaping $335mil and $236mil. Japan, the EU and the US consume 61% of total seafood exports of Vietnam.

Source: VietnamNet
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