The government has initiated moves to clear the way for resumption of shrimp exports to Russia, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Mohammad Sayedul Haque has said.
minister told reporters about step on Tuesday after a meeting with the Russian
Ambassador to Bangladesh, Alexander A Nikolae, at the Secretariat in
Haque said Russia wanted quality shrimps from Bangladesh and not
those usually infected during the summer.
Infected consignments had led
to the suspension of shrimp exports to Russia in October last
Russia, one of the potential markets for Bangladeshi frozen foods,
clamped a temporary ban on shrimp import in October since the consignments had
failed to meet microbiological standards, depriving the country of sizeable
“The Russian envoy has urged us to send a formal letter
to have the restriction withdrawn. We’ll send the letter on Thursday. We hope
the complication will be resolved soon,” the minister said.
He said that
the envoy had promised to help in every way.
Four Bangladeshi companies –
Bagerhat Sea Food Ltd, Fresh Foods Ltd, Apex Food Ltd and ARK Sea Food Ltd – had
been approved for shrimp exports to the Russian Federation by the country's
Department of Federal Service for Phytosanitary Surveillance in September
Bangladesh had also signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with
Russia’s Fisheries Department on December 23, 2009 for frozen food
However, Russia imposed a ban in October last on the four
Bangladeshi shrimp exporters for failing to meet microbiological
It withdrew the temporary ban on Bagerhat Sea Food Ltd on
February 6 this year, paving the way for the resumption of shrimp export to that
The Fisheries Minister said that most countries follow the
standards of ICMSF (International Commission for Microbiological Standards for
Food) and International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) relating to
bacterial load while importing frozen food. “But being a cold country, Russia
follows its own standards.”
Sayedul Haque said that Bangladesh exports
80,000 metric tonnes of frozen food annually to different countries. Shrimps
account for over 50,000 metric tonnes.
Bangladesh exported 1416 metric
tonnes of frozen food to Russia in the current 2013-2014 fiscal.
frozen food sector, already hit hard because of the recent political turmoil,
would face another blow if Russia extends the restriction.