August 23, 2017
Vietnamese pangasius exports to the US market have so far remained "steady" since Aug. 2, when all products of Siluriformes fish including catfish that are shipped to the United States are required to undergo food safety tests, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said.
Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary, said that during the 18-month transitional period, both sides worked out cooperative approaches to common issues and that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) gave close guidance on how to comply with the US requirements.
Mr. Hoe expressed the belief that the Vietnamese pangasius industry has been well developed with substantial and stringent food safety control system. At the same time, he feared that an import discrimination policy from the US government may cause unfavorable and unfair decision against Vietnam.
Under the new US catfish inspection programme, countries that want to continue to export siluriformes fish and fish products to the US must submit a complete "Self-Reporting Tool" and supporting documentation to FSIS by Sept. 1.
As of last year, the US was the largest buyer of Vietnamese pangasius, accounting for 23% of the Sotheast Asian country's total exports, followed by China at 17% and the EU, 16%.