Oct 10, 2019 / 11:29

EC to review yellow card against Vietnam’s illegal fishing in early November

The Hanoitimes - The result of this inspection would have a significant impact on Vietnam’s seafood exports to EU, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is scheduled to send inspectors to Vietnam from November 4 to 12 to review the country’s effort in addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing since it was penalized by EU with yellow card two years ago for failing to do it, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
The result of this inspection would have a significant impact on Vietnam’s fisheries exports to EU, said the MARD in a document, requesting exporters and local processors of seafood to the EU to make thorough preparations ahead of the trip. 

Three scenarios that would come out from the inspection, including maintaining the country’s yellow card status; issuing a red card banning all seafood imports from Vietnam; or rescinding the yellow card and resuming normal seafood trade with the country. 

The MARD requested local firms to strictly follow law and regulations from Vietnam and the EU in tackling IUU. Additionally, the ministry expected companies to review their respective internal procedures for tracking the origin of their locally purchased and imported raw materials before shipping to the EU. 

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) revealed in two years since the EU’s yellow card, Vietnam’s seafood exports to EU have been significantly impacted with turnover decreasing of 6.5% year-on-year to nearly US$390 million in 2018 and stagnating in the first eight months of 2019 with US$251 million. 

From being Vietnam’s second largest seafood importer, EU has now ranked fifth due to the yellow card, with market share now decreasing from 18% to 13%. 

The commission's card warning system is the EU’s main tool in the fight against illegal fishing. It encourages countries to work with the commission to improve their fisheries governance and retain access to EU markets.