The 'test' for the future of seafood exports

If Vietnam does not focus on removing the IUU (Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) yellow card and violations continue, it is very likely that the EC will switch from yellow card to red card.

The 'test' for the future of seafood exports

Illustrative image

On October 23, 2017, the European Commission (EC) applied a yellow card to Vietnamese seafood exports because it did not meet regulations about illegal fishing. If Vietnam does not focus on removing the IUU (Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) yellow card and violations continue, it is very likely that the EC will switch from yellow card to red card. At that time, Vietnam's seafood industry will lose about 500 million USD per year.

Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that seafood is the 5th largest export item in terms of value, with the highest turnover of nearly 9 billion USD/year.

Seafood farming contributes 60-65% of the revenue and seafood catching accounts for 35-40% of the value. Export revenue of seafood increased from 1.8 billion USD in 2000 to nearly 8.6-9 billion USD in recent years, making Vietnam the third largest seafood exporter in the world, after China and Norway.

However, Vietnam is one of 21 countries given a yellow card by the European Commission for not complying with the regulations against illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing (IUU). The yellow card was imposed on Vietnam in October 2017, which means that the country's seafood exports to markets in the European Union will be 100% inspected instead of only checked. As a result, Vietnam's seafood exports to the EU have declined continuously since 2017.

Vietnam’s seafood exports to the EU fell by 12% in 2019 compared to that in 2017, equivalent to 183.5 million USD. This downward trend continued in 2020, under other impacts from the Covid-19 epidemic to Brexit, with a decrease of 5.7% compared to 2019, reaching $959 million of revenue.

The EU has dropped from the 2nd position to the 4th position among Vietnam's seafood export markets, after the US, Japan and China, since 2019.

Recent studies on this issue show that Vietnam's caught seafood is directly affected by IUU regulations and the EU’s yellow card while aquaculture suffers more from indirect impacts. The biggest risk for Vietnam will be a "red card" - an EC trade ban if it fails to address the requirements for combating IUU fishing. Vietnam's seafood will lose about 480 million USD if it loses the EU market.

Specifically, losses from caught seafood, including tuna, krill, squid, octopus, etc., will be about 387 million USD per year. In addition, it will also make indirect impact on aquaculture due to the loss of prestige, increasing burden of customs control and failure to take advantage of preferential tariffs of the European Union- Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

In the medium term, if the ban lasts for 2-3 years, it could disrupt seafood exports and reduce income from caught seafood by at least 30%. Also, the ban will affect the reputation of Vietnamese seafood products in general. Other markets such as the US or Japan may follow EC’s IUU regulations.

What to do

 

When imposing the IUU yellow card on Vietnam’s seafood in 2017, the EC also made nine recommendations for Vietnamese seafood exporters. The EC organized two field visits in Vietnam in May 2018 and November 2019 and continued to give four groups of recommendations that Vietnam needs to implement, including: legal framework; monitoring, inspecting and controlling fishing vessel activities, fleet management; certification of output and traceability of aquatic products from catching; law enforcement.

Four years have passed, and the EC recognizes Vietnam's efforts in implementing the recommendations, but there are still shortcomings that need to be overcome. The EC also said that it would not withdraw the yellow card if Vietnam has not solved the problem of fishing in foreign waters.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that these four issues are of great concern, especially the violation of IUU of Vietnamese fishing vessels. Vietnam needs to manage fishing vessels well.

According to the experience of Thailand, which removed the IUU yellow card in early 2019, it is necessary to punish violators and implement a strict inspection and monitoring mechanism and system on fishing fleets, including remote monitoring. It is important to apply technology such as the VMS fishing vessel monitoring system to see the position of all fishing vessels on the central screen. If any ship goes out of the national waters, the center's staff will immediately warn and ask the ship to come back.

According to statistics of the General Department of Fisheries, as of April 30, 2021, nearly 27,000 ships were installed with the travel control device, reaching the rate of 86.8%. Vietnam needs to speed up this process. Along with that, it is necessary to develop, perfect and use an electronic fishery traceability system.

The yellow card and the risk of getting a red card are a big risk, but according to experts, it is necessary to positively see this as an important test for Vietnam. Overcoming the yellow card and avoiding the red card is an opportunity for Vietnamese seafood to upgrade itself, improve its prestige and open great opportunities to enter picky markets.

The EU is a market with the most stringent requirements. When Vietnam meets all the EC's recommendations, it means that Vietnam can create a sustainable production chain.

Tam An

Vietnam could lose US$480 million per year due to illegal fishing

Vietnam could lose US$480 million per year due to illegal fishing

As the third largest seafood exporter in the world, Viet Nam's could lose about US$480 million per year if it fails in its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.  

Vietnam determined to remove EC’s yellow card fishing warning by 2022

Vietnam determined to remove EC’s yellow card fishing warning by 2022

Vietnam is determined to gradually reduce the number of fishing vessels violating regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in order to have the ‘yellow card’ issued by the European Commission (EC) removed by 2022.

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi, HCM City to loosen social distancing, prepare for reopening
Hanoi, HCM City to loosen social distancing, prepare for reopening
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

Hanoi leaders have mentioned the possibility of loosening social distancing from September 15 if the spread of the coronavirus can be curbed. HCM City is also considering loosening social distancing regulations two weeks after September 15.

Local specialties plummeting in price
Local specialties plummeting in price
FEATUREicon  16/09/2021 

While Phu Yen lobster prices are surging, VND100,000 per kilogram more expensive than the previous crop, other aquatic specialties including ca lang (hemibagrus) and hau sua (oyster milk) have seen prices plummet, causing big losses for farmers.

Hanoi after nearly two months of social distancing
Hanoi after nearly two months of social distancing
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

The number of Covid-19 cases is gradually decreasing, medical capacity has improved, the "green zone" has expanded, and the "red zone" has gradually narrowed. 

When the two 'locomotives' restart at the same time
When the two 'locomotives' restart at the same time
FEATUREicon  14/09/2021 

Contributing about 45% of the country’s GDP, HCM City and Hanoi are considered the two engines pulling the national economy. Both must be healthy and go hand in hand to revive the pandemic-hit economy.

How long will social distancing last?
How long will social distancing last?
FEATUREicon  16/09/2021 

Receipts from taxes are on the decrease, which show that goods consumption and production of enterprises have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

A trial reopening in HCM City will be implemented on September 16-30 in districts 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio before following steps are taken.

HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

HCM City authorities have been considering a plan to grant ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ cards to its citizens, but the city has decided to extend social distancing after September 15.

HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
FEATUREicon  14/09/2021 

After nearly three months of social distancing, the conditions to loosen anti-pandemic measures to some extent are being discussed so that localities, businesses and people can feel more comfortable.

Agricultural by-products: a billion-dollar 'gold mine' in Vietnam
Agricultural by-products: a billion-dollar 'gold mine' in Vietnam
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

Agricultural by-products are called the "gold mine" of the Vietnam agricultural industry with up to 156 million tons per year. But these lucrative sources have been neglected for many years.

Celebrities and charity: scandals and legal 'gaps'
Celebrities and charity: scandals and legal 'gaps'
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

The news about celebrities doing charity has heated up in recent days with doubts and questions about the transparency of donations.

7 solutions proposed to fight pandemic in HCM City after September 15
7 solutions proposed to fight pandemic in HCM City after September 15
FEATUREicon  11/09/2021 

The HCM City Healthcare Department has proposed seven anti-pandemic solutions after September 15, 2021, including social distancing associated with a Covid-19 green card.

Investors sell homestays at a loss of billions of VND
Investors sell homestays at a loss of billions of VND
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

Many investors have offered to sell their homestays as they do not have enough money to pay debts and maintain operations.

E-wallets need 'sandbox' to boom
E-wallets need 'sandbox' to boom
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

“Do you accept payment with MoMo?” “Yes” is the question one can hear at many restaurants and supermarkets in HCM City.

How to rescue Vietnamese air carriers
How to rescue Vietnamese air carriers
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

During the fourth Covid-19 outbreak, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam asked domestic airlines to limit the number of flights from provinces and cities implementing social distancing under Directive 16.

Digital transformation to increase productivity: the only way to not lag behind
Digital transformation to increase productivity: the only way to not lag behind
FEATUREicon  10/09/2021 

At Garment 10 Company, productivity increased exponentially after new technologies and digitalization of the production line were applied.

Welcoming visitors with "vaccine passports"
Welcoming visitors with "vaccine passports"
FEATUREicon  10/09/2021 

Van Don international airport in Quang Ninh province was selected to welcome the first visitors with a "vaccine passport" on September 4. 

Hanoi enterprises resume operation, but with high caution
Hanoi enterprises resume operation, but with high caution
FEATUREicon  10/09/2021 

The enterprises in yellow and green zones of Hanoi have been asked to continue anti-pandemic measures during the production process. The ‘three on the site’ model (work, eat, stay) is being used in high-risk zones.

Localities still reluctant to rely on orders for teachers from pedagogical schools
Localities still reluctant to rely on orders for teachers from pedagogical schools
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

Though the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in May released a document guiding the ordering of teacher production as stipulated in Decree 116/2020, localities are reluctant to comply, even though the enrollment season is nearly over.

How are localities using high technologies to fight Covid-19?
How are localities using high technologies to fight Covid-19?
FEATUREicon  10/09/2021 

While Da Nang, Bac Giang and Quang Ninh have been using It well to fight the pandemic, Hanoi has not deployed technology at the same level, especially for management procedures.

Find bottlenecks to solve problems for digital transformation in Vietnam
Find bottlenecks to solve problems for digital transformation in Vietnam
FEATUREicon  09/09/2021 

In this article, domestic and foreign experts will offer solutions to help Vietnam take advantage of its strengths and overcome its weaknesses to build a digital nation.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN