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EC’s yellow card could see local seafood exports to EU taking a hit

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CAN THO – Vietnam’s seafood shipments to the European Union (EU) may encounter losses of up to 10,000 euros (US$11,125) per container due to the impact of the European Commission’s (EC) yellow card on local seafood products, revealed information recently released by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) on the country’s efforts to deal with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

EC had previously issued the yellow card warning based on Vietnam’s inadequate action to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

This restrictive yellow card will not only reduce local seafood exports to the EU but may affect the country’s outbound sales of the products to the United States and other potential markets, according to VASEP.

Moreover, after the warning was issued, all containers of local seafood shipped to the EU were taken for checking to determine the origin of the products. As a result, the time needed to transport the containers was prolonged, with each container taking up to four weeks to arrive in Europe.

In addition, the expenses for checking of origin may amount to some 500 British pounds (US$624) a container, which excludes fees for storing the products at the port and other costs resulting from the prolonged shipping time.

The major risk is that a large volume of containers would be rejected, causing heavy economic losses, according to the association.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of VASEP, told the Saigon Times that VASEP referred to a similar case experienced by Filipino seafood exporters, which pegged losses at 10,000 euros per container.

VASEP will review and work out the financial losses likely to be caused by the impact of the EC’s yellow card, Nam noted.

Vietnam recorded a decline in the turnover of seafood exports to the EU over the past two years as a result of the yellow card.

In 2018, the export revenue of local seafood products to the EU dipped 6.5% year-on-year to some US$390 million. The revenue in 2019 continued to drop by 5% against the previous year to some US$370 million.

By Trung Chanh

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