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Vietnam’s aqua product exports to EU receive warnings on food safety

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The European Union (EU) has announced that significant amounts of Vietnam’s aquatic product exports have failed safety tests and are being carefully monitored.

Officials said that out of a random sampling of 20% of Vietnam’s aquatic product imports to the EU, 7.3% did not meet food safety standards, indicating a severe alert level, according to the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission (DG SANCO).

Tran Ngoc Quan, trade counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Belgium and the EU, shared the information during a trade promotion meeting held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on October 31.

According to Quan, in the October report on supervising food safety and quality, the European Commission put Vietnam under its supervision. Previously, the EU had conducted a review and assessment on the country’s overall fishery development program over the past years.

Notably, the EU recommended supervising food safety on aquatic products imported from Vietnam. This move comes following a recent random testing of Vietnam’s aquatic product exports to the EU, which indicated a high volume of products failing to meet quality standards.

For the EU, that 7.3% of samples not meeting food safety standards is extremely severe, Quan said, adding that the Vietnam Trade Office in Belgium and the EU is working with EU authorities to follow up and report on each food sample presenting a violation.

It should be noted that businesses eligible for exporting aquatic products to the EU are those that have already had food product codes for export. This means that despite measures on food safety controls that were previously applied to aquatic product exports from Vietnam, the products have yet to meet the EU’s quality standards.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and localities have been urged to instruct businesses on how to strictly comply with requirements on food safety and quality, to secure their foothold in the EU market.

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