Indian seafood exports may come under inspection in the European Union (EU), the third-largest market of India, because antibiotics are being frequently found in them.
Speculation among UK importers is rife that the EU is considering a ban on aquaculture products from India though there is nothing to support this.
In 2016-17, the European Union accounted for 18 per cent of $5.78 billion seafood exports from India.
Trade sources said that there have been increasing rejections of Indian shrimps because of antibiotics like Nitrofurans and metabolites, AOZ, and chloramphenicol found in them.
But of late rejections have reduced. The European Commission is also believed to be blacklisting factories whose products have been rejected.
“While the Commission has not taken any official action (the issue does not appear on any EU agenda) the future of Indian aquaculture imports is looking bleak. The directorate-general, health and food safety is seriously worried about the continuing finds of antibiotics in Indian shrimp and dissatisfied with the response so far of the Indian authorities,” an advisor to Seafish, which represents the UK seafood industry, wrote to importers.
The Commission is dissatisfied both with the continued non-compliance and the lack of progress made by the Indian authorities.
“In the light of what we know, it would be no surprise if we see the commission puts up a proposal at the standing committees that Indian aquaculture products be banned completely. The commission is having a summer shutdown at the moment so no meetings will be taking place until September. We will look out for developments,” the advisor said.
chart Last year, the EU had strengthened its inspection norms for aquaculture products sent from India. Earlier, the norm was testing samples from at least 10 per cent of the consignments, which was enhanced to 50 per cent in 2016.
“The EU is a major market for Indian shrimps. At least 19 per cent of the total exports are directed to this market. Aquaculture shrimps constitute about 60 per cent of shrimp exports. So any such move would badly affect exports. This would have negative ramifications for the seafood industry,” said Rajen Padhi, director, exim consultant and a seafood trader.
Earlier this year the US, the largest importer of Indian marine products, had stepped up testing measures for consignments shipped from India, creating panic among exporters
Source Business Standard 6/8/2017