The European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will send inspectors to Vietnam from 4 to 12 November this year to review the yellow card imposed two years ago, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Vietnamese ministry previously said the visit would take place in late October.
In a note sent to local processors and exporters that ship wild-caught seafood products to E.U. on 7 October, deputy minister Phung Duc Tien asked them to make careful preparations ahead of the trip.
“The results from this inspection are of vital importance to the exports of seafood to E.U,” the statement said.
The note reminded the businesses that they are required to be aware of and compliant with all local laws, directives, circulars, and guidelines issued by lawmakers and the government related to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Additionally, Tien asked them to review their own internal measures for tracking the origin of their locally purchased and imported raw materials.
From 7 to 31 October, the ministry’s National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, the Directorate of Fisheries, and fisheries departments in numerous provinces and cities will dispatch inspection teams to the seafood companies to review their obedience to IUU regulations, the Vietnamese ministry said.
Vietnam has seen its sales of wild-caught seafood to the E.U. fall following the yellow card imposition, SeafoodSource reported last week.
Vietnam’s new fisheries law, which went into effect on 1 January, incorporated recommendations made by the E.C., and cooperation between the E.C. and Vietnam is vital if the country hopes to see its “yellow card” status removed. The yellow card was imposed on Vietnam in October 2017, and since then, the E.U. has been conducting a review of Vietnam’s fisheries- and seafood-related policies to determine which route it will take out of three options available to it: Maintaining the country’s yellow card status; issuing a red card banning all seafood imports from Vietnam; or rescinding the yellow card and resuming normal trading relations.
The commission’s carding system is the E.U.’s main tool in the fight against illegal fishing. It encourages countries to work with the commission to improve their fisheries governance and retain access to E.U. markets.
Photo courtesy of Toan Dao/SeafoodSource