China lifts ban on crab imports from Bangladesh

Published on
August 4, 2021
China has removed a ban on crab imported from Bangaldesh, following the implementation of more rigorous quality controls.

China has removed a ban on crab imported from Bangaldesh, after it said Bangladeshi exporters met requirements on quality control and certificate verification.

The ban, which was imposed in September 2020, was lifted on 2 JuneBdnews24 reported.  A total of 34 consignments of crab and Asian swamp eel have already been shipped to China, according to Bangladesh Department of Fisheries Deputy Director Niaz Uddin.

Chinese authorities had set quality control conditions for crab and eel from Bangladesh after they said the products were contaminated with lead and cadmium.

The Bangladesh Department of Fisheries then initiated a testing program for crab and eel in its laboratories and granted certificates for exporters so they could continue selling to China. However, in September 2020, China halted all imports of crab and eel from Bangladesh after an exporter, BM Traders, was found using a false certificate. BM Traders has been barred from exporting to China since then.

Bangladesh Frozen Fish Exporters Association Vice President S Humayun Kabir said a lack of sufficient laboratory testing for the products and the use of false certificates by some companies led to the Chinese ban.

Bangladeshi authorities have offered assistence to help exporters resume selling to China. Crab and eel products must now undergo at least a dozen tests at three laboratories run by the Bangladesh Department of Fisheries before it is granted a certificate, Uddin said.

Crab prices in Bangladesh fell sharply after China's ban came into effect, with export volumes falling by 50 percent, resulting in severe financial losses for farmers across Bangladesh. The decline in exports was also attributed to lower demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The value of Bangladesh’s crab exports was USD 35 million (EUR 29.5 million) in the last fiscal year, down 25.5 percent year-on-year. Mainland China was the largest destination for crab from Bangladesh, followed by Hong Kong, Myanmar, Vietnam, Japan, and Malaysia.

Photo courtesy of HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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