Japan has again imposed all-out ethoxyquin tests on shrimp products imported from Vietnam instead of on only 30% of the shipments after recently finding the banned substance on some batches of products.
This decision has sparked grave concerns among local exporters, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).
Shortly after the 30% ethoxyquin testing imposed on Vietnamese shrimp shipments was removed by Japan, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare constantly detected the banned residues on two Vietnamese shrimp shipments in only one week. Consequently, the importer reinstated the ethoxyquin testing percentage of 30% and then raised it to 100% until now.
Nguyen Tuan Anh, director of Ut Xi Seafood JSC as one of the first local companies to be subject to 100% ethoxyquin check from Japan, complained the criteria set by the Japanese side is too tough compared to other shrimp importers.
Tuan said his company had spent a lot of money hiring consultants for random checks for every shrimp shipment bound for Japan. But with the current 100% antibiotic testing in Japan, Tuan’s company will incur a loss if its shipment is sent back due to ethoxyquin detection.
The fact that Japan adjusted up the check ratio to 100% over shrimps imported from Vietnam is really a tough technical barrier to local exporters as Japan now is the biggest shrimp importer of Vietnam in the context of slowing demands from other importers, including the U.S. and the EU.
According to Vasep, the total value of shrimp exports to Japan in the first half of August shrank 22.3% year-on-year to US$21.9 million, to the U.S. plummeted 26.6% to US$26.6 million and to the EU tumbled 27.7% to US$12.5 million.
The Saigon Times Daily