By Nyein Nyein
The Department of Animal and Plant Quarantine of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) informed Myanmar embassy in Beijing to recheck Myanmar’s fish products exported to China as they contain the concentration of heavy metals such as high level of cadmium.
High level of cadmium is spotted in Chinese urine shrimps which two Myanmar companies export. For exports, the food safety management system is required to check and control food safety hazards at fishery products. The legally registered two companies sent Chinese urine shrimps to China. However, the concentration of heavy metal exceeded 0.5 mg/kg criteria set by China. As a result of this, China notified Myanmar that they would recheck and strictly conduct food safety inspection at the ports. They called for a review on supply chain including catching, packing and exports concerning the inferior quality shrimps, and better food safety management plans on fishery products including Chinese urine shrimps.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.
The permitted companies are advised to carry out food safety plans, follow the WHO and FAO guidelines, formulate the safety management system, and suspend the exports if any suspicious foodborne virus or virus infection risk are found in the products. They can resume the exports once the products meet food safety criteria set by the GACC.
China is the second-largest buyer of Myanmar’s fishery products, accounting for US$254 million out of overall fishery export value of $850 million in the financial year 2019-2020.
The federation expects to reach fishery export target of US$1 billion in the current FY 2020-2021. Nevertheless, the fishery exports touched a low of $297.036 million between 1 October 2020 and 22 January 2021, which plunged from $319.659 million registered a year-ago period. The figures reflected a decrease of $22.623 million over the Q1 of the current FY compared with the last FY2019-2020, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed.
Myanmar’s fishery products are shipped to 45 foreign countries, and Thailand is the leading buyer. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)