September 5, 2008


Malaysia's seafood safety measures praised by EU


The EU has welcomed the move by the Malaysian government to set up a food security bureau to ensure fisheries products from Malaysia conformed to standards set by the union, Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported.


Head of the European Commission Delegation to Malaysia Vincent Piket said in Kuching, capital of eastern Sarawak state, that The commitment shown by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry and the Health Ministry in establishing the bureau showed serious measures are being taken to lift the current ban on Malaysian seafood exports.


Malaysian seafood exports were banned from the EU market after six out of nine seafood exporting companies tested failed EU standards for traceability measures in April. The industry also failed to comply with EU safety and quality standards such as unhygienic processing factories and fish landing jetties.


The country exports US$460 million worth of seafood annually. The EU ban is estimated to have cost Malaysia's seafood industry 600 million ringgit (US$175 million).


Piket said that the EU will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia by year-end on sustainable forest management in line with EU's environment conservation policy as part of efforts to address global warming.

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