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Vietnam’s tra fish exports to Russia to be resumed   2009-03-17 - VietNamNet/VnMedia

A delegation of Vietnamese businesses headed for Russia yesterday, March 16, to sign contracts on exporting tra fish to Russia under the witness of the Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Services (VPSS), according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).


Deputy Minister of MARD Luong Le Phuong said that 90% of the work to prepare the way for Vietnam’s tra fish to go to Russia has been completed.


After Russia ordered the halt of importing tra fish into the market on December 20, 2008, VPSS’s officials arrived in Vietnam to inspect tra processing workshops, on February 21-28, to examine how Vietnamese seafood enterprises have fixed problems.


At the end of 2008, MARD promulgated new regulations on tightening control over the quality and food hygiene of the exports to Russia. The export products must follow the regulations on food hygiene set by Vietnam and Russia. Enterprises need to prove that they can provide 1/3 of the materials needed for processing themselves, have cold storage systems, as well as meet some other requirements, to be eligible to export tra fish products to Russia.


Phuong said that the National Fisheries Quality and Veterinary Directorate (Nafiqaved) of Vietnam and VPSS of Russia have agreed to temporarily reduce the number of Vietnamese exporters to Russia to a reasonable level


Vietnamese agencies have declined to give the exact number of tra fish exporters to Russia before Russia’s order on temporary import halt was released. However, earlier last year, VPSS’ officials arrived in Vietnam and examined the production conditions and food hygiene of 24 Vietnamese enterprises, which were named in the then list of exporters, and examined 15 other enterprises which were willing to export to Russia.


It is expected that the number of enterprises eligible to export tra fish to Russia will be smaller.


From the beginning of 2008 to the time when Russia ordered imports halted, Vietnam exported 118,150 tons of products worth $188 million, an increase of 161% in quantity and 123% in turnover in comparison with 2007, an increase which is considered the highest among tra fish export markets of Vietnam.


Vietnam exported 640,000 tons of tra fish last year, with the total export turnover of $1.45 billion, while the total seafood export turnover reached $4.5 billion last year.

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