Tra fish exports to US on course hinh anh 1Processing tra fish for export (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Despite a new US requirement that foreign exporters demonstrate their food safety control system is equivalent to American regulations, no backlog has been recorded in Vietnamese tra fish exports to that country. 

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began applying the new regulations for Siluriformes fish on August 2, instead of September 1 as announced earlier, mandating the checking of all shipments for records, packaging and labels.

Siluriformes fish include tra, basa, tre and lang fish.

The US is the second largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish, receiving 22 percent of Vietnam’s total exports of the catfish. US imports of tra were worth 220.8 million USD in the first eight months of this year, up 3.3 percent over the same period last year.

Only three or four Vietnamese firms have been able to export several tra products, including cut catfish, frozen catfish fillet, frozen rolled catfish and powdered fillets, to the US, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

A report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) showed that the country earned 1 billion USD from the export of seafood in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent.

Although tra fish exports to EU states dropped 23.5 percent, new markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Saudi Arabia were seeing steady growth.

In the first eight months of this year, the production of tra fish in Mekong Delta provinces reached 815,500 tonnes, up 10 percent year-on-year. Dong Thap is the province with the largest harvest at 303,400 tonnes, up 25.4 percent over the same period in 2016.

According to the head of the Dong Thap Aquaculture Product Department, Le Hoang Vu, tra fish are raised on 1,504 ha in the province, more than 809 ha of which are certified under the standards of VietGAP, GlobalGAP, Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

The province has 20 seafood processing factories with a total designed capacity of more than 467,000 tonnes per year. It has produced an estimated 180,000 tonnes of tra fish in the first eight months of this year, reaching nearly 500 million USD in export turnover.

The province plans to expand its breeding area to 2,000 ha by 2020, with an output of more than 541,000 tonnes of tra fish per year.- VNA