Indian seafood exports to EU halted

All seafood exports from India to the EU are coming to a halt. In a notification dated 15 March, the Export Inspection Agency (EIA) has stated that it will not be giving health certificates and Q certificates to exporters unless the product is sourced from fishing boats and landing centers registered with the agency.

In a fleet of over 60,000 mechanized boats, the exporters complained that there is not a single boat that has been registered with the agency. There are 48 major fishing harbors and numerous fish landing centers that are not registered either.

Without the health certificate from the EIA no European Port will entertain Indian seafood export consignments. Q Certificate is mandatory for the Indian customs to release the consignments for exports.

The exporters pointed out that all fishing harbors and fish landing centers in the country are owned by the Government and there is nothing that they could do at this instance. The bulk of the mechanized fishing boats are often owned and operated by illiterate and poor fishermen and the agency would have to first educate them on the needs of registration.

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