Seafood buying countries to visit Vietnam for quality checks

TN News

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Foreign importers of Vietnamese seafood will send delegations to the country this year to assess product quality, a Vietnamese official has said.

Nguyen Nhu Tiep, head of the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry Quality Management, said the first delegation, from South Korea, would come some time next week.

Experts from South Korea's Food and Drug Administration would inspect 28 producers of seasoned dried amberjack, he said.

US inspectors are expected to arrive in May to check aquaculture breeding farms.

US Food and Drug Administration officials would appraise the country's regulations on the use of chemicals and antibiotics in aquaculture and its systems for verifying the safety of fisheries exports to the US, he said.

They will also inspect producers, distributors, and retailers of feed and medicines used by the industry.

The last delegation to visit during the year would be from the European Union, and it would focus on mollusk species, checking for chemical and antibiotic residues in final products, Tiep said.

These visits were planned after American and Japanese authorities warned about the residues in Vietnamese products, he said.

"We are trying to enhance supervision of the whole seafood production chain to improve the quality of our exports so that we can keep our traditional markets such as the US, EU, and Japan, and develop new markets in North Africa and South America."

Vietnam's seafood exports were worth US$6.1 billion last year, up 21 percent from 2010, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors.

The country hopes to increase this to $10 billion by 2020 to become one of the four largest exporters in the world.

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