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US recognises Vietnam’s pangasius quality control system

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) under the United States Department of Agriculture has officially recognised Vietnam’s Pangasius Food Safety Control System after more than three years of negotiations.

The recognition was important for the development of the pangasius industry, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Phung Duc Tien told Vietnam News on November 4
He said it proved Vietnam had a system in place that met US market requirements, which were among the strictest in the world.

In order to meet US regulations, MARD said it had been working closely with stakeholders in Vietnam for three years to develop a system that met the US Farm Bill 2014.

“It will help local pangasius firms to access and expand their export markets, not only in the US but also other regions,” said Nguyen Nhu Tiep, director of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department from MARD, adding that it would also encourage more enterprises to export pangasius to the US along with the current 13 exporters.

Tien said the recognition would make US importers eager to buy more fish from Vietnam, adding export value in the last two months of 2019 and contributing to the growth of the pangasius industry.

According to MARD’s statistics, Vietnam had yearly production of 1.3 million tonnes of pangasius, India had 650,000 tonnes, Bangladesh had 450,000 tonnes, Indonesia had 110,000 tonnes and China had 10,000 tonnes.

Production in other markets was lower than in Vietnam, but they could increase production capacity when they joined the export market. With technology added to production, they could be fierce competitors for Vietnam, said Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Cuong said with a farming area of 5,000 ha, the pangasius industry could earn 1.8 billion USD from exports.

“There is a lot of potential and room for development,” he said.

The minister said the recognition would contribute to a shift in small-scale farming to large-scale production.

Also on November 4, MARD announced the US Department of Commerce had lowered anti-dumping duties on frozen pangasius fillets from Vietnam in the 15th period of review (POR15).

Accordingly, Vinh Hoan Company, Bien Dong Company, NTSF Seafoods JSC and Can Tho Import Export Seafood JSC (CASEAMEX) will now be able to export tax-free, while a “Vietnam-wide entity” anti-dumping rate of 2.39 USD per kilogramme was applied to all other Vietnamese exporters. Vietnamese fish has been subject to US anti-dumping duties since 2003.

Last year, Vietnam exported $550 million worth of pangasius to the US, the country’s second largest market.