August 26, 2008


EU warns Bangladesh shrimp exporters to ensure quality

The EU has warned Bangladesh shrimp exporters that shipments would be suspended if they do not ensure product quality.


The warning follows a headshaking report by a European Commission delegation that recently visited Bangladesh.


The Commission conveyed health hazard concerns to Bangladesh in a letter on July 23 this year and had asked for preventive measures against harmful elements in shrimp. The Commission said they would be launching a new shrimp-testing system to detect the presence of substances such as malachite, nitro-furans, tetracycline and chloramphenicol.


The Commission also warned that shrimp imports from Bangladesh would be suspended if any detected harmful chemical and medicine exceed the permissible level.


During the past few months, the EU had returned 300 containers of shrimps that were found to contain harmful antibiotics, which eventually led to the license cancellation of four shrimp processing facilities.


Following that, Bangladesh officials met with EU deputy assistant director MS Testori Coki in April this year, assuring that Bangladesh would go through every necessary test to ensure the quality of shrimps that would be shipped to the EU.


Bangladesh's frozen food exports, mainly the shrimp, brought in US$534 million in the last fiscal year, up 4 percent on-year. However, earnings fell 11 percent short of the target for 2007-08 due to shortcomings in quality, officials said.


According to Khulna District Fisheries Officer Million Abdur Rashed, he was not aware of the EU warning but shrimp processing units were monitored round the clock to ensure quality.

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