Japan lifts inspection on black tiger shrimp from India

Published on
December 11, 2020

Japan has decided to completely lift inspection measures on black tiger shrimp imported from India after residue of the synthetic antibacterial drug furazolidone was no longer detected in any cargoes from the South Asian nation, The New Indian Express reported 9 December.

The Food Inspection and Safety Division, operating under Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, already conveyed the decision to the Embassy of India in Japan, the Export Inspection Council of India, and India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

In a letter dated 1 December, the Japanese agency said the inspection order to check furazolidone on farmed black tiger shrimp from India had been fully lifted. Shipments of the species now only must pass regular internal monitoring controls, a mandatory requirement applied to all seafood products sold in Japan.

In April, MPEDA said the inspection order had been lifted for India's black tiger shrimp consignments, but it did not say whether the decision was temporary or permanent. The decision was made after an expert team from Japan carried out an inspection visit to black tiger shrimp hatcheries, farms, and processing units in India from 2 to 6 March.

The team gave clearance to India’s black tiger shrimp following the inspections and tests that found no residue of the synthetic anti-bacterial drug furazolidone in cargoes of shrimp sent to Japan. Following their inspections, the MHLW decreased the sampling frequency for cargoes of black tiger shrimp from India to 30 percent from 100 percent.

MPEDA Chairman K. S. Srinivas said the Japanese decision serves as a big help for Indian exporters, who are struggling with trade and logistics obstacles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“MPEDA has been raising the request to exempt black tiger from import inspection for antibiotic residue at various platforms. The decision by Japanese authorities will further enhance the farming and export of black tiger variety, especially from states like West Bengal and Kerala,” he said.

About 40 percent of black tiger shrimp from India is exported to Japan, with the remainder to the European Union, the United States, and other markets.  

Photo courtesy of Mati Nitibhon/Shutterstock

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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