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Fear of new EU restrictions on fish exports eases

06 Jan 2018

An inspection team from the European Union (EU) that visited the country said it was satisfied with the procedures followed in India to export fish products, according to local press reports.

In addition, it was reported that the team discarded the imposition of new restrictions by the European bloc, which represents a great relief for Indian seafood exporters.

A British commercial source told the Business Standard that export procedures appear to work well in India and no further EU restrictions are expected, unless there is a sudden change, such as an increase in the quick alerts on the EU border.

Although some problems related to primary production on the farms were identified, the Indian authorities are expected to address these problems in the coming months, the source added.

The EU inspectors visited several fish processing plants in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, the main exporting states, in November 2017. They also toured the Paradip fishing port, and aquaculture farms in Astaranga, in the Puri district.

In addition, the EU team met officials of the Ministry of Commerce officials of the Union and the Marine Products Export Development Autorithy (MPEDA).

In 2016, the EU strengthened its inspection standards for aquaculture products from India, and began to analyze 50 per cent of the items, instead of the 10 per cent that it previously controlled.

Sources in the sector consider it is likely that controls of 50 per cent of the items will be maintained.

There was growing concern among Indian seafood exporters, that the discovery of antibiotic residues in Indian shrimp shipments, added to an unsatisfactory response from local authorities, could trigger the imposition of a ban on exports to the European block.

The EU represents about 18 per cent of the seafood exports of India, whose total value is around USD 5,700 million.

Source: Fish Information & Services

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