Aquatic product exports are facing inventory challenges due to certificate issues

20/11/2023 08:42 - 0 Views

Hundreds of seafood containers from the company are stockpiled and unable to be exported due to complications in obtaining the required certificates (H/C) accompanying the seafood shipments imported into Vietnam for processing and subsequent export to the EU.

 

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), regarding the implementation of seafood export requirements to the EU market, VASEP has recently received feedback from some seafood businesses regarding the challenges in complying with Document 629/CCPT-ATTP dated August 17, 2023, issued by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQPM) - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

In Document 629, NAFIQPM introduces new requirements regarding the certification content in the Health Certificate (H/C) accompanying seafood shipments imported into Vietnam for processing and subsequent export to the EU.

 

According to businesses importing raw materials for processing and exporting to the EU, the requirements outlined in Document 629 are not compatible with many good international practices, making them impractical. This has led to restrictions on various seafood raw material imports into Vietnam and has caused bottlenecks in the processing and export activities to the EU for affected businesses.

 

As of now, companies in this group are facing the issue of stockpiling hundreds of containers that cannot be exported because the Regional Centers of NAFIQPM have not been able to issue the required H/C for export, as the imported raw material batches do not meet the stipulations of Document 629 mentioned above.

 

In the group of containers currently unable to be exported, there are both batches of raw materials that were imported and completed before August 17, 2023 (the issuance date of Document 629) and batches of raw materials still in the process of export. Thus, Document 629 effectively adjusts decisions on requirements, documentation, and procedures in the business operations of enterprises, even though this document is not legally binding.

 

Businesses believe that very few countries have responded by agreeing to issue Health Certificates (H/C) for seafood shipments to Vietnam in accordance with the requirements of Document 629—except for the condition that the raw materials must be imported into that country by a legal entity, and then re-exported to Vietnamese businesses.

 

 

As a result, the qualified raw materials for processing and exporting to the EU are running low. Meanwhile, a significant amount of raw materials had been imported into Vietnam before the issuance of Document 629, and currently, processed products from these batches cannot be exported to the EU because businesses cannot obtain the required certificates as per Document 629.

 

Imported raw materials from Europe and the Americas often take 40-50 days to arrive. When Document 629 was issued, these imported materials were on their way, and they could not comply with the new regulations. Meanwhile, other countries do not have strict regulations on H/C like Vietnam, so the imported raw material sources will shift to these countries, making it even more challenging for Vietnam to find raw material sources for export. This will lead to many businesses losing their sources, orders, and customers, and Vietnam's seafood export turnover to the EU will significantly decline in the future.

 

To alleviate the difficulties for businesses, VASEP recommends that NAFIQPM review and amend Document 629 to establish minimal requirements to meet the goal of managing goods into the EU without restricting many good product lines from overseas that meet the requirements of the European Commission. This aims to maintain legal production and business activities from imported raw materials and not to lose Vietnam's market share in the seafood industry.

 

In the context of a highly challenging competitive market and based on the suggested review and amendments, VASEP proposes that NAFIQPM consider expediting the export procedures for batches that have not been issued H/C in the past two months, for which businesses have completed all export documents except for the H/C, as outlined in Document 629.

Source: Customs News

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