The EU has returned or put under surveillance 17 batches of seafood and almond kernels imported from Vietnam as they failed to meet the bloc’s food safety requirements, the Ministry of Industry and Trade stated on its website.
|A farmer feeds fish in this file photo. The European Union has returned or put under surveillance 17 batches of seafood and agricultural products imported from Vietnam|
According to the European Union's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, nine seafood batches and eight almond kernel batches were flagged for containing higher-than-permitted concentrations of certain substances as well as banned substances.
Specifically, Spain rejected eight batches of Australian almond kernels, which were processed in Vietnam, as they contained a higher-than-permitted level of aflatoxin.
Belgium refused a batch of frozen catfish and issued an alert for frozen swordfish steaks from Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Austria, Switzerland and Norway put Vietnam’s frozen tra fish fillets, frozen whole red tilapia and frozen shrimp, respectively, under surveillance, at a “not serious” level.
In addition, France issued an alert for frozen albacore tuna and wahoo loin fillets from Vietnam. The country also put frozen marlin chunks imported from Vietnam under surveillance, at a “serious” level.
Further, the Netherlands put Vietnam’s frozen marlin loins under surveillance, at a “serious” level.
The rejection of Vietnamese products by importing markets has occurred many times, causing losses for local exporters and damaging the prestige of Vietnamese agricultural products.
Last year alone, some 80 batches of seafood were returned, double the figure seen in 2017.
In addition, the European Commission’s yellow card on Vietnam’s seafood has yet to be lifted.
Phan Van Thuong, director of GOC Food Processing Export JSC, said that the European Union attaches great importance to the quality and safety of food products and has issued tight regulations on the use of antibiotics and pesticides in farming and the origins of agricultural products.
Also, the bloc has strict requirements for environmental protection, energy saving and social welfare.
However, if Vietnamese enterprises can ship their products to the European Union, they can tap other markets more easily, Thuong said. SGT