Friday May 19 2017

US imposes ban on import of shrimps from Pakistan

KARACHI: US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has imposed a ban on the import of shrimps from Pakistan.

According to reports, USFDA authorities claim that the ban was imposed because local Pakistani fishing industry does not ensure installation of turtle excluder devices in the fishing nets.

Moreover, a year back, Saudia Arabia also placed a ban on the Pakistani shrimp exports on the same grounds. Interestingly, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan maintains the view that the decrease in Pakistani exports globally is only because of the fall of prices in the international market.

The ban from USFDA will take effect from May 1, 2017.

Meanwhile, Iran recently has partially lifted the ban on Kinnow import from Pakistan, after a break of almost six years.

Pakistani Embassy in Tehran informed Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan through a letter that Iran has lifted the ban on imports of Kinnow for only 21 days, which will continue till April 20, 2017.

Pakistan has been allowed to export Kinnow through the border markets of Iranian province Sistan and Balouchistan via land routes only. Trading has not been allowed via air cargo or sea route.

Reacting to the development, Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said the exporters will try their best to tap this opportunity. However, the trading will not be allowed to reach its full potential and the ban has been lifted at a time when season of Kinnow in Pakistan is at its closing phase, he explained.

The conditionality of the export would limit the export to 5,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes, he remarked.

The condition, he said, is contradictory to the fact that Pakistani markets remain flooded by Iranian fruits throughout the year. The fruits from Tehran are either smuggled or imported through legal means.

On the other hand, despite repeated requests, authorities in Pakistan have not taken up the issue of Iranian ban on Pakistani products. This leads to Iranian government depriving Pakistan traders of over 70,000 tonnes export per season.

Ahmed, who is also Chairman of Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on fruit and vegetable exports, has appealed the Iranian government to lift the ban on sea and air cargo, and allowing it to other cities of the neighboring country.

He said Pakistan has so far exported 250,000 tonnes Kinnow so far to various countries with a breakup of 190,000 tonnes shipped by sea and 60,000 tonnes delivered by road.