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EU welcomes newly qualified seafood exports

Wednesday, December 2nd 2009 - 12:10 UTC
Full article
Daniel Montiel, national director of Aquatic Resources. Daniel Montiel, national director of Aquatic Resources.

The European Union (EU) informed the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (DINARA) that Uruguay will be able to resume shipments of seafood products to the EU market. This announcement marks the end of restrictions imposed by the European bloc in 2008.

In addition, the EU acknowledged DINARA as an equivalent entity for the certification of export products.

The European authority made these decisions after evaluating the results of inspections undertaken by EU technicians over 15 days at the industry, vessel and laboratory level in Uruguay, El Pais reports.

The European team needed to verify if the requirements imposed in 2008 had been fulfilled, after the Uruguayan market was closed for want of guarantees as far as the innocuity of foods exported to Europe.

“The procedures and controls of the competent authority, as well as the infrastructure and controls of the qualified establishments, are aligned with Community requirements,” said DINARA when reporting on the resumption of exports to Europe.

“With satisfaction, we can say that we received the verbal go ahead of the final report of the European Community, in which it effectively lists DINARA as an equivalent sanitary authority to qualify the certification of exports and products that go to Europe,” indicated the national director of Aquatic Resources, Daniel Montiel, in declarations to El Espectador.

“In 2008, we closed with USD 213 million, and approximately 35 per cent of that amount was taken up by the European market, which gives us a dimension of the importance of this market. This year, we believe that the Uruguayan fishing sector is going to hover around USD 200 million, which is an interesting indicator for an activity like fishing,” Montiel added.

Complications in exporting seafood resources to the European market began in 2007, when EU inspectors stated that certain protocols established by DINARA were not being applied in plants and ships.

The European Commission (CE) suspended the authorisations of three Uruguayan plants to export fish to the EU market, upon detecting breakdowns in sanitary conditions and verifying that certain reagents used to analyse samples had expired. FIS

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