Indian aquaculture exporters will now have tough time as EU has decided to test 20 percent of the Indian imports as it is unhappy with residue monitoring and testing methodology. This would put a major barrier to Indian exporters and an inherent advantage to competitors. According to the Seafood Exporter Association of India (SEAI) the decision to scrutinise 20 percent of the exports at random and its effective implementation might commence from April.
The main reason behind this testing is that the problem arose mainly due to the recurrent rejections of cultured scampi exports to the EU in the early part of last year. Now the random testing is likely to be extended to all aquaculture exports from India to EU. The Indian exporter would have no clue if his consignment might be selected for testing at the port of arrival.
Testing might delay the whole process of importing the Indian aquaculture products. With this sort of an uncertainty, why should the importer continue to depend on Indian exporter for his needs, some exporters wondered. This would definitely be to the advantage of competitors from other countries whose export consignments would arrive without any such delays and apprehensions.
It is true that the EU continues to be the biggest export destination even during the current year, accounting for almost one-third of the volume and value of India’s total seafood exports. Export to EU is more than double that to Japan, the second biggest export destination. EU export consists mainly of squid, cuttlefish and shrimp.