October 11, 2016
A total of 11 shipments of Vietnamese seafood were turned back by the EU in the first nine months due to high levels of heavy metals, VN Express International reported, citing a statement posted on Vietnam's National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Department's (Nafiqad) website.
Nafiqad said it got information from the European Commission's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that the shipments were contaminated with mercury and cadmium.
Nafiqad added that the quantity rejected by the EU during the nine-month period was 2.2 times higher than the whole of 2015.
In August, Vietnamese authorities warned local aquaculture companies that they would not renew their export licenses unless they complied with safety standards following a warning from the EU after it had found seafood shipments allegedly containing excess antibiotic levels.
Vietnam ranks as the third-largest seafood exporter in the world, accounting for over 5% of the market share, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood (Vasep).
Vasep reported that in the first half of the year, Vietnamese seafood exports totalled US$3.15, up 4% over the same period last year, thanks to the recovery in the demand for shrimp and pangasius.