December 16, 2008


Malaysia seafood industries ready for EU re-audit


Seafood companies in Malaysia are ready to be re-audited by EU officials after their exports to the region were suspended in June 2008.


During a dialogue with seafood export industry players on December 15, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that five farms and six processors would be checked again by EU's Food and Veterinary Officers (FVO) in the first two weeks of March 2009.


Liow also said he will try to get the FVO to come in as early as next month.


He assures the industry will put a guarantee on its quality and the Health Ministry and Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry (AAIM) will take continue the monitoring even after the EU inspection to ensure that the industry is meeting the requirements.


He also said that AAIM was working to provide soft loans of about MYR100 million to help industry players hit by the suspension.


Exports of seafood to the EU are worth MYR600 million yearly and it is estimated that industry players have lost up to half of that amount after their products were banned.


A seafood exporting company-- who ships one-third of his products to EU -- said the suspension was damaging to the company. Its facilities will be included in the inspection next year.


US$1 = MYR3.557 (Dec 16)

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