The European Commission's General Department of Marine and Fisheries Affairs (DG MARE) is expected to visit Vietnam for the third time between October 20 and October 28, 2022, to assess the situation and performance in relation to IUU fishing (as recommended by the Delegation at the inspection in November 2019). The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued a dispatch on September 12, 2022, directing the preparation of plans, content to continue and work with the DG MARE inspection team, and the results of reviewing the implementation of IUU regulations for businesses in recent times. Following the direction, the Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) has asked seafood processing enterprises to exploit and export to the EU to implement a number of important contents seriously and urgently as follows:
Regarding internal policies, procedures, and controls over raw materials to satisfy IUU requirements: In order to amend internal regulations to ensure compliance with current regulations and actual production and processing activities of businesses, review and update fully new regulations of Vietnam (Circular 01/2022/TT-BNNPTNT; Circular No. 01/2022/TT-BNNPTNT; Circular No. 06/2022/TT-BNNPTNT...) and EU (Regulation (EU) 2022/1479...), in which it should be noted: The traceability of seafood that complies with IUU regulations is ensured throughout the chain, and there are specific requirements for records and control methods: for domestically exploited materials (minutes of loading and unloading at the port, certification of raw materials, certification of materials and products for export); for raw materials from imported mining/transshipment/container ships (import documents; inspection records of state agencies, certifications of conformance, certification of raw materials, and products to serve the control of raw materials meeting IUU before import.
Simultaneously, procedures for monitoring deductions and activities are specified in order to compare monitoring data with actual production for the following: raw materials used in production, remaining raw materials, and finished goods. In order to make traceability transparent throughout the IUU regulation implementation chain, data on exported and unexported products, the quantity of defective semi-finished products, edible by-products, and by-products converted to other uses must be collected. For simple management and monitoring, calculate and fully announce the production norms corresponding to the caught fishery products produced at the enterprise. To avoid confusion in the organization of production, there are strict management measures to separate domestically exploited raw materials from imported raw materials before putting them into production.
Regarding the assignment of implementing IUU internal regulations: All full-time employees in departments responsible for IUU control must be knowledgeable about the law's provisions, understand how businesses operate, and practical skill expertise for the tasks at hand. In addition, due to seafood and seafood products must be traceable and adhere to IUU regulations throughout the entire supply chain, companies should think about designating a quality assurance and food safety department (charged with IUU) with enough authority and responsibility to link information and data with other areas of the business (purchasing, storage of finished products, raw materials, import and export departments, etc.), to prevent broken links.
Regarding the results of IUU control implementation: Review and organize full dossiers of seafood export shipments caught into the EU from 2020 to the present, ensuring systematic, easy-to-access storage, meeting the requirements of traceability of imported seafood raw materials and the origin of domestically exploited materials according to the chain, and coupling with management agencies' tracking records of exploited materials.
Concerning the preparation for working with the EC inspection team: Implement the Department's requirements in Sections 1, 2, and 3 above, including shortcomings and errors that have been verified and reviewed by the Bureau of Detection delegations. The preparatory work will be finished by October 15, 2022. This inspection is critical in the EC's consideration of removing the "yellow card" after nearly 5 years or applying more stringent measures to Vietnam's caught seafood. Therefore, the Department of Quality Management of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products advised business leaders to be proactive, prioritizing resources to ensure that the necessary conditions are in place to achieve the best results.
Le Mai (theo tongcucthuysan.gov.vn)