Japanese experts praised the management and control of seafood safety and hygiene at Vietnam ’s processing factories, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

A delegation from the Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau (PFSB) under the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is currently in Vietnam to inspect the country’s seafood safety and hygiene system.

During the March 14-19 working visit, the delegation focuses on assessing the management and distribution of veterinary medicines as well as the control of forbidden chemical and antibiotic residues in Vietnam ’s seafood products exported to Japan .

The delegation will examine five seafood processing factories and fishing port in Phan Thiet in the central province of Binh Thuan .

At a working session with the Japanese delegation, representatives from the National Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Quality Administrative Directorate of Vietnam (NAFIQAD) suggested cooperation in assessing the department’s capacity to respond to the results of inspections in order to avoid a double inspection on Vietnam’s seafood exported to Japan, looking towards the signing of a cooperation agreement in controlling the quality of seafood import-export products between the two countries.

A PFSB representative recommended NAFIQAD cooperate with many relevant ministries and agencies in identifying and upgrading prohibited aquaculture facilities as well as supervising and controlling the sale of veterinary medicine.

Since a decision on the application of urgent measures to control chemical and antibiotic residue in seafood exports to Japan was implemented, the rate of batches of Vietnamese seafood found to contain forbidden antibiotic residues by Japan has sharply decreased from 4.6 percent in the last six months of 2006 to 0.39 percent in 2009.

According to the General Department of Customs, Vietnam ’s seafood export turnover to Japan reached 757.9 million USD, including 493.6 million USD from frozen shrimp and 4.03 million USD from tra fish./.