Vietnam seafood faces non-tariff barriers in 49 countries

Hanoi – Vietnam’s seafood is facing non- tariff barriers in 49 countries and regions, said Vietnam Industry and Trade Information Center (VITIC) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Monday.

Several non-tariff barriers that were recently established in 2014 include technical barriers to trade on Vietnamese seafood into the European Union (EU) market, the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures on the seafood into the United States via its Food Safety Modernization Act and Agricultural Act. In addition, the United States is carrying out anti-dumping trials against Vietnamese catfish among others, said the VITIC.

Due to these barriers, Vietnam’s total export revenue of catfish in the first five months of 2014 stood at 682 million U.S. dollars, down 3.8 percent year-on-year. Especially, Vietnam saw sharp decreases in two major importers of Vietnamese catfish including the United States and the EU, said Vietnam Customs.

Vo Hung Dung, director of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in southern Can Tho city said to VITIC on Monday that in addition to major markets, Vietnamese seafood is also suffering from pressure of anti-dumping taxes from adjacent markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

In order to address the issue, Vietnamese seafood producing and exporting companies should change from price competition to quality competition, change cultivation habits to ensure product safety by not using prohibited chemicals, as well as better control the pre-processing materials, said Hung.

The latest statistics from Vietnam Customs show that Vietnam’s seafood export revenue in June went down 3.7 percent against the previous month.

According to Vietnam’s Directorate of Fisheries, seafood is a major income earner and one of Vietnam’s major export commodities. Vietnam has been among the biggest seafood exporters in the world.

Earlier in April, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers forecast that in 2014, the country will earn seven billion U.S. dollars from seafood exports. Source: Xinhua