The US Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will inspect Vietnamese tra fish imports in early March, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The Vietnamese government welcomes the FSIS’s involvement as it ensures that the tra fish from Vietnam meets the strictest safety and quality standards. The approval of the US agency will provide additional proof of excellence for Vietnamese tra fish to enter other markets.
Opportunity to Bring Quality of Tra Fish to Higher Standards
The MARD’s deputy minister, Phùng Đức Tiến, stated that tra fish met all the US agency’s requirements in production, transport, and processing during its inspections two years ago. Vietnamese businesses consider the upcoming inspections in March as an opportunity to bring the quality of tra fish to higher standards and to enter the US market with zero tariffs.
Preparation for Inspections
In preparation for the inspections, the National Agro Forestry Fisheries Quality Assurance Department has conducted its own inspections of tra fish farms in the Mekong Delta. Inspectors monitored the quality of water coming in and out of the farms, breeding areas in 10 cities and provinces in the delta, as well as the sanitary protocols for harvest, transport, storage, and processing of tra fish.
Vietnamese Firms Make Significant Investments in Quality and Environment
In recent years, Vietnamese firms have made significant investments in improving the environment and technologies to ensure that tra fish surpasses the technical barriers of the EU, the US, and Japan. Their efforts seem to have paid off as Vietnamese tra fish has steadily built a reputation for quality in international markets.
Expansion of Vietnamese Firms into International Markets
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the US Department of Commerce has allowed two additional Vietnamese firms – NTSF Fisheries JSC and CASEAMEX – to export tra fish to the US, bringing the total number of Vietnamese firms under the zero tariffs policy to four. Vietnamese firms have been on the lookout for other international markets while continuing to improve the quality and safety of their tra fish.