March 21, 2016
Sri Lanka's seafood exporters have called for the government to broach the issue about an import tariff implemented by China during negotiations for a free trade agreement.
The industry is hoping for official assistance to improve production as well as venturing into new markets as an EU ban – imposed in 2014 - continues to affect Sri Lankan seafood exports, said Prabhash Subasinghe, chairman of Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka.
According to Subasinghe, seafood exports are severely impacted due to the ban while "unfriendly" import and export policies raise challenges in the market. The sector is also coping with lower production volumes.
"The 9% tariff charged by China on our seafood exports is a problem and this needs to be discussed at the FTA formulation," he commented.
In additions, exporters have to pay a license fee of US$50 per tonne of seafood exported, Subasinghe said.
Sri Lanka exported US$252.7 million of seafood in 2014.
However, exports fell by 35% to US$163.1 last year.