Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will no longer grant licences for seafood shipments from exporters blocked by the European Union (EU) for using banned substances in their products.

According to a ministry decision which took effect earlier this week, the disqualified exporters could regain their licences if they submit to inspections on the banned shipments.

They also need to pass tests conducted by Vietnam’s National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD).

Minister Vu Van Tam said the exporters had ceased seafood exports to the EU till there is an announcement from NAFIQAD.

In addition, businesses were required to provide their products for tests on each shipment.

Ngo Hong Phong, NAFIQAD’s deputy director, said the department would update information on warnings from the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) and provide documents to exporters.

NAFIQAD also asked seafood processors exporting to the EU to review their quality management programmes as well as build solutions to control banned substances.

The DG SANTE wrote to Nafiqad on August 2 saying that the EU had decided to remove a Vietnamese seafood exporter, whose name remains undisclosed, from the list of exporters allowed in the EU. The sanction was made after antibiotics were found in the company’s shipments to the EU.

In late April, the directorate issued a warning against several seafood shipments of four Vietnamese exporters, saying the products did not meet EU food safety requirements.

The four exporters include Mekong Delta under Can Tho Export-Import Seafood Joint Stock Company, Southern Fishery Industries Co Ltd, Foodtech Joint Stock Co and Khang Thong Joint Stock Company.-VNA