Vietnamese exporters have seen hindrances to shipping tropical rock lobsters to China as the northern neighbor said that these lobsters are an endangered species and asked exporters to prove that their products are farmed.
The National Authority for Agro-Forestry-Fishery Quality, Processing and Market Development (NAFIQPM) has reported the results of its online working sessions with the General Administration of Customs of China to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
During these working sessions, the Chinese authorities informed that they added wild tropical rock lobsters to the list of endangered species in 2021.
In May this year, China amended its law on wild animal protection, banning the fishing, use, and trade of wild tropical rock lobsters.
The General Administration of Customs of China informed its local customs agencies of the new regulation.
The Chinese authorities required that countries which desire to export tropical rock lobsters to the Chinese market should show proof that their tropical rock lobsters are farmed and they do not use breeds directly caught from the sea.
They must use lobster larvae that are from at least the second generation removed from the wild.
Tropical rock lobster farming facilities must register with the Chinese side with their information attached.
The Chinese side will later launch online or direct inspections into these facilities and publicize the list of Vietnamese entities allowed to ship tropical rock lobsters to China on the portal of the General Administration of Customs of China.
Thus, the obstacle in tropical rock lobster exports to the neighboring market is evidence proving that the products are not wild caught. Requirements in food safety and customs procedures remain unchanged, NAFIQPM affirmed.
The authority proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development direct the relevant units to remove bottlenecks facing domestic enterprises in exporting tropical rock lobsters to China.
Since August this year, they have encountered multiple hardships in shipping the product and cried for help.
Tropical rock lobster farmers are also in trouble as the tropical rock lobster prices have plunged by half.
Tropical rock lobsters which measure some 500 grams each earlier cost VND1.7-1.8 million (US$70.3-74.5) per kilogram, while those weighing 700-900 grams each are now priced at VND1.05 million ($43.5) per kilogram.
This is the lowest-ever price of tropical rock lobsters, a seafood company based in Ho Chi Minh City told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.
China is the key import market of Vietnam’s lobsters.
In the January-August period, Vietnam shipped $76 million worth of lobsters to the northern neighbor, tumbling 42 percent year on year, Thanh Nien reported.