Urgent measures implemented towards removal of EU yellow card

Wednesday, 2018-01-31 09:43:59
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Urgent measures have been implemented in response to the EU’s warning.
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NDO – In addition to the outstanding obtained results in 2017, the Vietnamese fisheries sector faced many difficulties in exports, particularly the European Commission (EC)’s issuance of a “yellow card” which warned Vietnam for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Under the warning, the European Union (EU) checks the origin of all seafood products imported from Vietnam, resulting in an extended time for entry procedures and increased costs for inspection and warehousing. If Vietnam cannot fulfil the recommendations over the illegal fishing exploitations after six months, the EU will then issue a 'red card' which could mean that Vietnamese aquatic products would be unable to enter the EU market.

In order to promptly overcome these difficulties and help the fisheries sector to develop in a sustainable way, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Directive No. 45/CT-TTg in late November 2017 to devise a number of drastic tasks and solutions in response to the EU’s warning. In the beginning of this year, the PM approved a national action plan to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.

Especially, he emphasised the specific tasks that are needed to be urgently implemented from now until April, so that the 'yellow card' could be withdrawn in the first half of this year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has also issued Decision No.4840/QÐ-BNN-TCTS, approving a plan to implement a number of urgent solutions to overcome the EC’s warning on IUU. In addition, the 2017 Law on Fisheries was adopted by the 14th National Assembly (NA) at its fourth session on November 21, 2017. The law was considered as the main legal regulation for illegal fishing activities.

The Ministry also coordinated with the other ministries, agencies and localities concerned to report the implementation of the EC’s recommendations to its Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE), as well as update the adjustment of the 2017 Law on Fisheries, to the EC.

In the near future, the ministries, agencies and coastal localities will enhance the communication and education of legal regulations among fishing vessel owners, fishers and families in various forms. They must agree to abide by the provisions of both Vietnamese and international laws while participating in fishing activities on the sea, and not venture into the sea of foreign countries or go too deep into the overlapping exclusive economic zones between the two countries.

According to the General Statistics Office, the total output of aquatic products reached 7.22 million tonnes in 2017, earning US$8.32 billion in export revenue, an annual increase of 18%. This is the result of the agricultural sector’s efforts in restructuring and the implementation of policies for development.

The sector is striving to increase its value of aquaculture production from 5.3% to 5.8% and reach US$8.5 billion in export turnover.