Qatar has temporarily banned Indian seafood imports because some shipments were found to be contaminated with microbes.
Industry sources say that this is because the Qatari government checked the quality of everything across the country before the FIFA World Cup, which starts this weekend.
Bacteria were found in two or three shipments of shrimp in October, which stopped all shipments of marine products to that country.
Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) officials have talked to Qatar’s public health officials about the problem, and work is being done to end the ban.
Industry sources say that six shipments of shrimp from Indian exporters were found to have dangerous bacteria. The West Asian market is quite sensitive to such issues, and it has come as a complete surprise.
But people from the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) said that Qatar had agreed to lift the ban as long as marine product shipments from India were approved by the Export Inspection Agency (EIA) of the Union government.
The move comes as a result of the Commerce Ministry’s efforts, and it comes as a huge comfort to exporters.
According to Jagdish Fofandi, National President of SEAI, an internal agreement has been reached between the two countries to resolve the issue. Most of the time, these kinds of inquiries are handled by export inspection agencies in every country.
‘Following the incident, we responded quickly by using all available resources to guarantee that there was no drop in quality.’ ‘We’re now waiting for exports to resume,’ he explained.
MPEDA officials stated that they had already sent a show cause notice to the affected exporting enterprises, and it is understood that the EIA has temporarily banned exports from these units.
Officials said that the exporting agency will not cut corners on the quality of its products, which is a key part of its market promotion efforts. Last year, India sent 4,000 tonnes of fish to Qatar, earning $25 million in income, according to officials.