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EU delegation's Nov visit sparks fears of ban among seafood exporters

EU team to visit Odisha first and then proceed to other states

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 

Seafood

A high-level delegation from the (EU) is slated to visit between November 21 and 28 to reportedly inspect the quality of the aquaculture products here by visiting the harbours and processing factories located in the country.

There is widespread speculation that the is considering a ban, citing quality issues, especially the presence of antibiotics in Indian shipments. is the third largest market for accounting for about 18 per cent of the country's exports valued at $5.7 billion.

Trade sources said that the team, which may comprise two to three members, will visit first and then proceed to other states.

An Indian export agency confirmed the arrival of the team but declined to comment further, citing it a sensitive matter.

is seriously worried over the use of antibiotics in Indian shrimps- a fact that has surfaced continuously in its findings. It is also dissatisfied with the response it got from the Indian authorities and is, thus, considering a ban.

Last year, the had strengthened its inspection norms for aquaculture products sent from Earlier, the norm was testing samples from at least 10 per cent of the consignments, which was enhanced to 50 per cent in 2016.

Some exporters even fear a ban.

The team's visit to is expected to entail an inspection of the overall framework related to the control of using veterinary medicines. Ivan Bartolo, regulatory affairs advisor at Seafish, representing the UK industry, said: "The team will evaluate the performance of competent authorities and other authorised entities in their implementation of official controls concerning residues and contaminants in live animals and animal products eligible for export to the It will also inspect products to ensure that they do not contain residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides and contaminants at concentrations in excess of maximum limits." Meanwhile, officials at the Exporters Association of say that the inspection would indeed be good for as it will clear the air with regard to quality of exports from the country. Even if problems surface during the inspection, officials say findings are likely to compel Indian exporters to improve their quality of shipments, as per international standards.

First Published: Wed, November 08 2017. 17:48 IST
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