|Seafood enterprises propose to remove obstacles from exporting to the EU
|Many notes for businesses when exporting seafood to China
|Processing seafood for export at Fimex Vietnam Company. Photo: TL
It is expected that in less than 1 month (May 25, 2023), the inspection team of the European Commission (EC) will visit Vietnam for the 4th time to inspect the compliance with anti-IUU fishing regulations. The results of this inspection are significant in deciding whether Vietnam can remove the seafood yellow card or not.
Seafood enterprises have made great efforts to remove the yellow card and have proposed some solutions to remove inadequacies in the implementation of the anti-IUU fishing program.
Ms. Cao Thi Kim Lan, Director of Binh Dinh Seafood Joint Stock Company, said that degraded infrastructures in many coastal provinces are contributing to slowing down the progress in meeting the regulations on removing the IUU yellow card and hindering the sustainable development of Vietnam’s fisheries. In detail, many fishing ports have low capacity, even lack of safety; there are not enough places for boats to anchor. Most ports have not yet been fully invested in building cold storage, operators, fish classifiers, water supply and drainage systems, and wastewater treatment.
In addition, Ms. Lan also pointed out the fact that in coastal localities, the technique, technology and capacity to handle enforcement processes and procedures for certification-certification of the origin of caught seafood are not enough. Therefore, businesses face difficulties and bottlenecks to ask for the source of exploited raw material certification which negatively affects the supply chain of exploited seafood.
To solve the immediate difficulties for seafood processing enterprises, Ms. Lan suggested it is necessary to quickly improve the database of boat management in direction of connecting the database system of 28 coastal provinces and cities. Moreover, the database should be structured to support the management and make it easy for searching. Especially, the process of certifying seafood needs to be digitized in order to quickly and effectively solve this procedure in localities.
Similarly, Mr. Tran Van Linh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thuan Phuoc Seafood and Trading Joint Stock Company, also said that there are many shortcomings in the regulation and implementation of the anti-IUU program that are affecting the supply chain of Vietnam’s marine mining products.
Currently, seafood enterprises often do not buy products directly from fishermen but from buy many sources, so there are not enough grounds to request the fishing port management organization to issue a receipt for loading and unloading seafood through the port. In case, if you can buy it directly, it is not certain that the fishing vessel is completely legal (without interruption in cruise monitoring, fishing in the right area). In turn, the actual output of legal vessels is too small to meet the purchasing demands.
In fact, Vietnam fishermen have a longstanding habit of small and inshore fishing. Although some species can be exported such as squid, anchovies, etc., they are not qualified enough to get export certifications.
Enterprises recommend that the regulations should be flexible with the characteristics of Vietnam’s small fishery to take advantage of inshore raw materials to be able to export.
Enterprises propose to share and provide reliable information or database of fishing vessels and legal raw material sources.
Removing the seafood yellow card this year is Vietnam’s determination, and is determined not to deal with the EC but to change Vietnam’s fisheries in a more sustainable direction, enhancing the country’s image in the international arena, affirming that Vietnam is a responsible member of the international community.
Recently, the Prime Minister sent a telegram requesting 28 coastal provinces and cities to be proactive and drastic in taking action to complete the overcoming of shortcomings and limitations as recommended by the EC, and to prepare carefully the contents and conditions for working with the 4th EC Inspection Delegation.
Remarkably, it is an urgent need to resolutely take strong measures to prevent and stop the illegal exploitation of Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen in foreign waters;
The Ministry of Public Security directs the investigation, consolidation of records, and prosecution of organizations and individuals that act as brokers and hookers to give a hand for illegally exploiting fishing vessels in foreign waters.
Coastal localities shall verify and strictly punish violators according to the provisions of law, and publicize them on mass media to deter and educate people.