Thursday, January 28, 2016

28/01/2016: Veterinary controls and border detentions in fish trade
Image: Alexandre Dulaunoy
Fish remains one of the most traded food commodities worldwide, says Globefish, the FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture information analysis unit.
In 2012, roughly 200 countries reported exports of fish and fishery products. This trade is especially important for developing nations, where in some cases, fish and fishery products account for more than half of their total value of traded commodities. Fish trade has rapidly expanded and will continue to increase in order to meet the ever-increasing demand.

One of the greatest difficulties fish exporters face is dealing with the different requirements of health and quality standards in various markets. Requirements involve a range of import regulations and control procedures, beginning with border controls at which seafood products can be rejected or detained while awaiting further tests or even their destruction. The term "border case" is commonly used to denote any situation where a product is detained, rejected, destroyed, returned to the sender or otherwise removed, if only temporarily, from the trade flow.

Veterinary checks are one group of controls that play a vital role in safeguarding public health while ensuring the quality of imported products. Veterinary checks generally raise the quality standards of imported products by means of control and sampling, which restrict the movement of contaminated products that might be hazardous to consumer health. Thus, veterinary checks have ultimately resulted in significant savings in health care costs in countries that apply these rules effectively. At the same time, however, veterinary checks can also have negative effects that prevent the distribution of products and thus limit the flow of goods in the market. The unfavourable elements created by veterinary barriers include: higher costs, slow marketing, limits on foreign trade and exports, loss of time, additional work involved in transactions, and the risk of incentivising practices of food adulteration (using forbidden additives and dyes, etc) in order to circumvent health checks.

Read the full article HERE.

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