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No More Seafood Exports to China 17 May 2012  
No More Seafood Exports to China

No More Seafood Exports to China

 

KOCHI, May 16 Seafood exporters have completely stopped shipments to China owing to the Chinese ban on Indian seafood imports effective June 1. The final shipments were sent out as early as April end, given that the journey takes about four weeks.

Exporters have expressed concern, and Commerce Ministry officials have asked them to ‘wait and watch’ but without any assurance, “We are afraid that if our consignments reach after the deadline, they may be rejected. So, it is safe to stop exports until the issue is sorted,” said an exporter from Gujarat.

The ban has hampered the sector, especially in Gujarat. The state accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s seafood exports to China-a consolidated 90,000 tonnes (11 per cent of total exports) valued at Rs 1,151 crore. Exports comprise mainly of low-value fish items that have very little domestic demand.

According to the Seafood Exporter’s Association of India, 700 exporters across the country ship products to China, 90 of which are from Gujarat.

“The ban would affect not only exporters, but also workers,” said another exporter from Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the exporters have accused the Union government of not taking the issue seriously, with there being no fruitful dialogue between the two countries, except for an official letter to Beijing.

Indian has been excluded from the list of countries that confirm to China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), with regard to the inspection and quarantine certificate for export of aquatic products to the country.

This is being mainly attributed to negligence by the Indian authorities as China had, a year ago, put out a notice on the implementation of administrative measures for the inspection, quarantine and supervision of entry and exit of aquatic products. It then published a list of approved countries last October. However, the Indian authorities remained inactive.

Of the countries that have confirmed to AQSIQ, seven are from Asia, ten from Europe and seven from America, as also Australia and New Zealand. China will now consignments from AQSIQ-approved countries only.

 

(Source: Exim India Dt. 17.05.2012)
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