Harvesting Tra fish in An Giang. (Source: VNA)

The Government has approved the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) plan to amend Decree 36/2014/ND-CP to resolve difficulties of management offices, enterprises and farmers in implementing the decree over the past one year.

Decree 36, effective since June 20, 2014, involved standards on rearing, processing and exporting tra fish products to solve problems in production and business of the domestic tra fish industry.

However, when implementing the decree, the enterprises and state offices in provinces said there were many unsuitable points in those regulations.

The ministry said some provinces had slowly approved specific plans for regions of tra fish growth and processing. That activity affected the plan to grant codes for ponds rearing tra fish and confirm registration of applying VietGap for production and export of tra fish according to the decree, reported Vietnamplus.

Under the decree, by the end of this year, all areas rearing tra fish nationwide must get the Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice (VietGap) standards and other international certificates. However, at present, only half of the total areas rearing tra fish had received a VietGap certificate.

Therefore, the ministry asked the Government to extend the deadline for tra fish farms to obtain VietGap and international certificates until December 31, 2016, instead of the end of 2015.

In addition, the ministry petitioned the Government to approve the maximum moisture content of 86 percent and the highest ice-to-fish ratio of 20 percent to be applied until December 31, 2018, before the respective ratios of 83 percent and 10 percent are imposed from January 1, 2019.

The ministry also proposed abolishing the regulation requiring companies to register for export contracts as a condition to complete customs clearance procedures, and exempting businesses from fees on export contract registrations.

In Document No 7678/VPCP- KTN issued by the Government Office on September 25 on approving the MARD's amendments to the Decree 36, the Government asked the ministry to study and collect comments of relevant ministries, agencies and parties which are directly affected by the decree when drafting the amended decree.

The ministry should focus on the difficulties enterprises face when implementing the decree, necessary for applying the VietGap standards and other international certificates, according to the document.

The ministry should consider drafting regulations to replace rules on moisture content and ice-to-fish ratios.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), tra fish was exported to 150 countries and territories with total revenue of more than 1.8 billion USD a year. The European Union (EU) is the largest export market for the fish.

The export value of tra fish from early this year until September 15 had a year-on-year reduction of 9.2 percent to 1.08 billion USD. Some key markets such as the United States and the EU saw a drop of 3 percent and 17 percent, respectively, the association said.-VNA