EU pushing for more comprehensive auditing of Indian shrimp imports

Published on
November 5, 2018

The European Union is considering testing Indian seafood imports for a wider range of antibiotic residues, following the results of a report that found deficiencies in food safety control in the South Asian country.

Last month, two European Commission committees discussed the report, which was based off a visit made by inspectors in November 2017 in response to mounting concerns in Europe over the number of shipments of Indian shrimp found to contain excessive amounts of antibiotics. The results of the audit were delivered in May.

According to the official summary of one of the meetings, European officials are considering testing for a wider range of antibiotic and antimicrobial residues in all aquaculture products imported into the E.U. from India, including shrimp. Specifically, the E.U. may expand its testing for macrolides, aminoglycosides, beta-lactams including cephalosporins, lincosamides, diaminopyrimidines, and doxycycline, according to India’s Business Standard.

Ivan Bartolo, regulatory affairs advisor, Seafish which represents the United Kingdom’s seafood industry, told the Business Standard neither committee discussed upping the current 50 percent testing rate for Indian seafood consignments, nor did they discuss lowering the rate. 

“There was no mention of a departure from the current 50 percent testing of imports into the EU and, critically, there was no mention of a complete ban,” Bartolo said. “Of course, these three options cannot be completely ruled out, but it is a good sign that they are not being discussed.”

At the beginning of October, Tomasz Kozlowski, the E.U.’s ambassador to India, told the Business Standard the E.U. had ruled out a total ban of Indian shrimp exports.

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