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Japan may stop importing Vietnamese shrimp
Publication Date : 01-05-2014
Japanese businesses are planning to stop importing shirmp from Vietnam due to excessively high levels oxytetracycline (OTC) in the Vietnamese produce, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).
The group said Japan would be importing its shrimp requirements from India and Indonesia.
According to Vasep, the decision was made due to the excessively high levels of OTC that were detected in Vietnamese shrimp shipments, despite prior warnings and the public knowledge that virtually all Vietnamese shrimp exports were being tested for the antibiotic.
Vased had asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Directorate of Fisheries to strictly control shrimp cultivating areas to prevent such a situation.
Its figures showed that 11 shrimp shipments to the European Union and Japan were returned in the first four months of the year because of high OTC levels.
It said the number of shrimp shipments being returned by Japan had risen since it started testing for OTC in all Vietnamese shrimps.
The association also warned that Japanese importers were planning to import shrimp from the two above-mentioned countries as they had taken measures to reduce their harvests' OTC level.
Japanese importers have also guided shrimp processing factories in India to process shrimps so they could switch their orders from Vietnam.
Two weeks ago, Vasep said the EU discovered OTC levels in some shrimp shipments from Vietnam to be higher than the allowed level of 0.1ppm.
It warned that the EU would consider applying stricter measures on Vietnamese shrimps if Vietnam would not address the issue.
Earlier this year, the association forecast that shrimp exports could reach US$3 billion this year if the issues of breed and presence of chemicals were paid due attention.
It also warned that unless the local shrimp businesses strengthened self-regulation of OTC, they would fail to penetrate the Japanese market as well as to meet the target of making Vietnam one of the top three shrimp exporters in the world.