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Russia lifts import suspension on Vietnamese seafood

Russia’s Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) has nullified an import suspension on seafood exported by seven Vietnamese firms to the European country and the Eurasian Customs Union, a Vietnamese quality watchdog announced Tuesday.

Workers are pictured working at a seafood processing company in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in this photo illustration.
Workers are pictured working at a seafood processing company in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in this photo illustration.

The seven businesses include five catfish processing firms, namely Hung Vuong-Vinh Long Co Ltd, Hung Vuong JSC, Ba Lai Seafood Processing Co, Hiep Thanh Seafood Processing Co, and Hung Ca Co Ltd, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) said on its website.

The remaining two businesses, Minh Phu Seafood JSC and Minh Quy Seafood Processing Co Ltd, specialize in processing and exporting frozen shrimp.

NAFIQAD, under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ordered that these seafood firms “strictly follow the food safety regulations stipulated by Vietnam, Russia and the Eurasian Customs Union.”

Eurasian Customs Union is a trade bloc comprising Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

“Local seafood and agro-product quality watchdogs must conduct checks and provide certificates for the shipments processed at these companies,” NAFIQAD deputy head Tran Bich Nga said.

Russia previously suspended seafood imports from Vietnam as the shipments did not meet its food safety standards. The suspension took effect on January 31, following results of the tests conducted by Russian veterinarians in Vietnam in December 2013, according to a statement from Russia’s plant and health regulator, Rosselkhoznadzor.

Russia, however, is not a major export market of the Vietnamese seafood sector.

In 2013, Vietnam shipped more than US$100 million worth of seafood to the northern Eurasian country, accounting for only 1.5 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total export revenue.