This is specified in Dispatch 1787/BNN-QLCL of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development released on Wednesday.
In the dispatch, the agriculture ministry asked the General Directorate of Fisheries to immediately check fish feed products for ethoxyquin content, both locally produced and imported, and submit a report to the ministry no later than August 15.
Ethoxyquin is a kind of antioxidant preservatives mixed in animal and fish feed. Japan’s decision to apply an ethoxyquin limit of 0.01 ppm makes it more difficult for Vietnamese seafood to enter this market.
An inspector of the agriculture ministry said Circular 66 of the ministry had set specific regulations on animal feed management. However, feed makers only list the nutrition facts on the packaging, while antioxidant additives like ethoxyquin are not revealed.
Ho Quoc Luc, head of the Shrimp Committee at the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said now is a critical moment for shrimp exports to Japan. Despite the mandatory tests for forbidden substances, local enterprises still export to Japan as it is the biggest market for Vietnamese shrimp with higher selling prices than other markets.
“The agriculture ministry must resolve the issue of prohibited substances like ethoxyquin as soon as possible if not wanting to lose the Japanese market to other regional countries,” said Luc.