China Tightens Inspections for Russian Seafood Exports

By

Catherine Zhang, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor reporting from London, England

Published on
February 1, 2009

China is stepping up inspection efforts for seafood exports to Russia following pressure from its northern ally to improve its shoddy food-safety record, according to a statement on China’s Bureau of Inspection and Quarantine Web site.

The measures come at a time when food-safety concerns are at a peak for China’s seafood export market. After the industrial chemical melamine was found in feed to boost protein content in farmed seafood late last year, concerns were raised in the international community about China’s seafood quality.

Russia recently heightened its quality standards, hygiene and food-safety control of seafood exports from China, according to the Web site.

The new measures include adequate facilities, including appropriate cold storage and for all seafood exports to adhere to national and international hygienic inspections and details of seafood origin, weight and date packed, effective 1 January, according to the Web site.

China is Russia’s second-largest seafood supplier and has more than 400 seafood companies authorized to export to Russia. Under the new regulations, seafood products exported to Russia must be admitted only through approved foreign plants. Although Russia is rich in seafood resources, its poor infrastructure has resulted in much of its products being exported to China for re-processing and re-exported to Russia and other nearby countries such as Japan.

Russia’s new quality restrictions also apply to India, Morocco, Indonesia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Singapore and Vietnam, the Web site stated.

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