February 20, 2014
Bangladesh resumes shrimp export to Russia
Early this month, Russia has lifted the temporary ban on a Bangladeshi shrimp exporting company, paving the way for resumption of shrimp export to that country.
"Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of the Russian Federation (Rosselkho-znadzor) had withdrawn the temporary restriction from February 6, 2014," Fish Inspection and Quality Control (FIQC) Principal Scientific Officer (PSO) Nittya Ranjan Biswas said.
He said, Rosselkhoznadzor uploaded the withdrawal letter on its website in Russian language and Bangladesh Commercial Counsellor to Russia Noor Md Mahbubul Haq sent a letter to country's Department of Fisheries Director General in this regard.
Four Bangladeshi companies-Bagerhat Sea Food Ltd, Fresh Foods Ltd, Apex Food Ltd and ARK Sea Food Ltd-got approval from the Department of Federal Service for Phytosanitary Surveillance of the Russian Federation for exporting shrimp in September, 2009.
Bagerhat Sea Food Ltd got the temporary ban in early 2010 and rest of the three got last year --- Apex Food Ltd in August, ARK Sea Food Ltd in October and Fresh Foods Ltd in November of the same year. Shrimp export to Russia was totally stopped in November, 2013.
Bagerhat Sea Food Ltd deputy managing director Khan Habibur Rahman said: "It's a result of our last four years' efforts. The Rosselkhoznadzor said that they have got mercury in our sample. But, the day they mentioned in their letter, our product did not reach there on that day."
"They have admitted it but they did not lift the restriction. Despite having British Retail Consortium (BRC), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) certificate we had to wait for couple of years."
Exporters said, Russia offers US$0.10 to US$0.20 higher price per kilogramme than the offers by the EU and the US to Bangladesh. It makes 30% advance payment after deals so that the exporters can get relief from bank interest.
Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) President Md Amin Ullah said that 7% of the country's total frozen foods export worth BDT3.0 toBDT3.5 billion (US$38.6 million to US$ go to Russia annually."
He said the Department of Fisheries is taking measures to resume export of frozen foods by three other local companies and are hopeful that the market will be opened to the three companies soon.
Bangladesh exported frozen foods worth US$418.74 million during July to January of fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 compared to US$332.46 million of the same period of last fiscal, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showed.
The government has set a target of exporting US$578.77 million worth of frozen foods this fiscal.