The FSIS under the United States Department of Agriculture informed that Vietnam's catfish is allowed to enter the US market, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
According to the FSIS, the fish inspection system for siluriformes in Vietnam, China, Thailand are equivalent to US standards.
The equivalency determination, which is subject to a 30-day period of public comment and a final decision by the FSIS before it is finalized, will allow species including catfish and basa from those countries to enter the U.S. market.
"All three countries have submitted documentation to FSIS to establish the equivalence of their [s]iluriformes fish inspection system and eligibility to export [s]iluriformes fish to the United States," the USDA said in a constituent update on September 14.
"FSIS reviewed the documentation submitted, conducted on-site audits of these countries, and concluded that, as implemented, the inspection systems are equivalent to that of the United States."
FSIS inspectors visited Vietnam in May to carry out on-site inspections at pangasius-processing facilities in the country, according to SeafoodSource.
In February 2018, Vietnam filed an official complaint with the World Trade Organization against the US, claiming the US Department of Agriculture program targeting catfish inspections imposes illegal barriers to trade. The country is also seeking bilateral talks to resolve the issue.
And pangasius exporters in Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the species, have also faced unprecedented antidumping rates levied by the US in May.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set a target of earning US$2 billion from catfish export this year, said Acting Director General of Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Ngoc Oai.
Accordingly, the catfish export is expected to account for 31.5% of the fishery industry's export turnover in 2018. The catfish output is also planned at more than 1.3 million tons.