All seafood export companies think that the IUU yellow card has affected seafood export greatly
On 25th September, at the Evaluation conference for 2 years of implementing the program of Seafood Enterprises committed to combating illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing, all companies think that the IUU yellow card has affected seafood export greatly.
Export declines because of the yellow card
EU is the second-biggest seafood import market of Vietnam, earning the country 350-400 million USD per year. This market also accounts for 17-18% of the total seafood export of Vietnam. However, ever since the European Committee sanctioned the IUU yellow card for Vietnam’s seafood, the export to this market has started to slow down.
Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers Nguyen Hoai Nam said that 2 years after EC sanctioned Vietnam’s seafood with the yellow card, the export to the EU market has been significantly affected, down 6.5% to nearly 390 million USD in 2018 and continued to level off in the first 8 months of 2019 with 251 million USD. From its second place in the rankings of Vietnam’s seafood export markets, after the yellow card, the EU market has declined to 5th place and the market proportion declined from 18% to 13%.
Companies think that the IUU yellow card has resulted in many negative effects, directly influencing the seafood export to the EU, following by the effects on the export to the US and other potential markets. Particularly, the seafood export to the EU will decline as EU customers worry about being fined according to the IUU regulations and reduce or stop seafood import from Vietnam. The warned nations will also be listed publicly on official journals and websites of the EU, tarnishing the image and negatively affecting the reputation and brand of Vietnam seafood.
During the yellow card sanction, all containers of seafood export to the EU are detained to check for origin, which is time-consuming and leads to the incurred costs including the cost of origin checking of 500 pounds/containers and the port storage charges. However, the most major risk is the high rate of rejected containers, damaging the seafood export to the EU under the yellow card. The loss can be averagely up to 10,000 Euro/container.
Director of the Binh Dinh Fishery Joint Stock Company Cao Thi Kim Lan said that Binh Dinh is one of the provinces with the highest number of fishing boats in the Central of Vietnam, most of which are offshore, supplying export. Therein, the EU is the main export market, accounting for 60-70% of the seafood export turnover of Bidifisco, but ever since the Vietnam seafood received the IUU yellow card warning, the export of seafood into the EU market has been extremely difficult.
Specifically, if previously the seafood exported to the EU was automatically cleared, it is now detained at the port to check for the origin, causing the clearance time to last 10-15 days. After 2 years, the proportion of seafood exports to the EU is only 40% of the total export value, reaching about 30 million USD / year, businesses must seek alternative markets and increase processing to solve the output.
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, Vice President of VASEP, being aware of the influence of IUU yellow card on Vietnam's seafood exports to the EU market and the prestige of Vietnamese seafood products on the world market and identifying the need to move towards a sustainable development of the seafood industry, from 25th September 2017, the VASEP Seafood Committee and Vietnamese seafood exporters and producers have always been trying to overcome the issue.
After 2 years of persistence with the goal of removing the yellow card and the sustainable development of Vietnam's seafood export and processing industry, Vietnamese seafood companies have been very active with program activities such as: using the banner committing to fighting IUU fishing altogether, seriously implementing the commitment to fight IUU fishing, only purchasing seafood materials from legal fishing vessels with clear origins, importing only seafood caught from legal fishing, complying with the provisions of the US, EU and Vietnam to fight IUU fishing, participating in seminars, trainings, propagandas and communications on IUU fishing.
The VASEP Seafood Committee, the IUU Executive Board and the companies are actively joining hands, cooperating with relevant agencies and localities to implement the recommendations of the EC, which is most evident in participating in proposing and commenting on amendments and completion of the legal framework such as the Fisheries Law, the Decree guiding the Fisheries Law, and relevant Circulars.
In addition, the VASEP Association has cooperated and worked closely with parties such as the Coast Guard Command, relevant ministries, and international organizations in the communication and training on IUU for businesses and fishermen. Especially, it maintained a good cooperative relationship with the EC reporting and sharing information about Vietnam's efforts in combating IUU fishing.
After 2 years of implementation of the program, VASEP and the Vietnam Fisheries Companies community commit to continue working with state management agencies and fishing communities, consistently with the motto "Say no to IUU "- determining for Vietnam's sustainable fisheries and for the purpose of maintaining the export market of Vietnam's seafood products.