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Saudi Arabia allows 12 Vietnamese companies to resume seafood shipments

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HCMC – Saudi Arabia has allowed 12 Vietnamese companies to resume seafood exports to the country following a suspension since early 2018, according to a statement sent by the Saudi Arabia Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

These seafood exporters include Halong Canfoco – Danang Co., Ltd, Binh Dinh Fishery Joint Stock Company, Thanh Dung Canning Co., Ltd, Tin Thinh Co., Ltd, Fujiura Nha Trang Ltd and Tien Trien Co., Ltd, among others.

The resumption is the result of joint efforts by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Vietnamese enterprises. The ministries and related agencies will continue to work with the SFDA to add more Vietnamese exporters to the list of firms eligible for seafood exports to Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade noted that Saudi Arabia is a choosy market, especially in terms of food safety and hygiene. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises need to strengthen the inspection of their production process and quality of seafood products to meet this Middle East country’s requirements for quality, hygiene and food safety. This will also help lower the possibility that Saudi Arabia will re-apply the import ban on seafood products from Vietnam in the future.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, Saudi Arabia is not the main market for Vietnamese seafood but an important one in the Middle Eastern region. Before the ban, it spent more than US$60 million annually on importing seafood from Vietnam.

Saudi Arabia suspended the imports of seafood originating from Vietnam in January 2018 after an inspection team of SFDA inspected seafood farms in Vietnam and concluded that some shrimp and tra fish production and processing facilities did not meet the food hygiene and safety requirements.

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