BANGLADESH :From the present onwards, Bangladeshi exporters will be able to ship frozen seafood products to the European Union (EU) without the compliance of including analytical test reports with the consignments, which had been mandatory since 2008.
The European authorities took this decision after considering that there has been a significant decrease in the number of non-compliant consignments, Star Business Report informed.
In April, the EU carried out an audit in Bangladesh to evaluate the country's control mechanism against “residues and contaminants” in shrimp and the EU team also examined controls on veterinary medicinal products.
The audit report concluded that the system in place for aquaculture offers guarantees equivalent to the requirements laid down in the EU legislation.
Referring to this announcement, Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association president SM Amzad Hossain explained that the government inspections will continue to ensure that only shrimp that is safe for human consumption is going to EU markets.
“We are happy that they have put faith in us. This will improve our image,” Hossain pointed out, adding that the prices of shrimp and the overall exports would rise after this EU notice.
Throughout last year, shrimp farmers and processors experienced losses owing to sluggish global demand for the country's black tiger shrimp amid ample supply of the vannamei variety.
Data from the Export Promotion Bureau revealed that between July and November, shrimp exports from Bangladesh slumped 25 per cent year-on-year to USD 206 million.
From the Bangladeshi Government, Syed Arif Azad, director general of Department of Fisheries, told media sources: “Since the testing standards of Bangladeshi labs were upgraded to EU standard, that is why the European Parliament lifted the testing certificate conditions on import of shrimp from Bangladesh,” Dhaka Tribune reported.
He also remarked that the benefits of the lifting would depend on the responsibilities and accountabilities of the exporters as they had to explore new market in the EU countries. FIS