Qatar Suspends Indian Seafood Imports Amidst FIFA World Cup Prep

Qatar has put a temporary hold on Indian seafood imports after finding microbial contamination in some consignments. 

The step has been taken due to national quality checks undertaken by the Qatar administration before the inauguration of FIFA World Cup 2022, as claimed by industry sources. 

In October, 2 or 3 shrimp consignments turned out to be contaminated hence leading to a suspension of all marine product shipments.

Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda) officials have taken up the issue with the public health authorities in Qatar and discussions are in progress to revoke the suspension.

Officials at the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) have stated that Qatar is all good with lifting the ban as long as the marine consignments begin getting certified by the Export Inspection Agency (EIA) which comes under Union Government. The move comes in the wake of the efforts taken by the Commerce Ministry, which according to exporters, comes as a significant relief.

Internal arrangement

Jagdish Fofandi, National President of SEAI told businessLine that an internal arrangement has been made between the two countries to sort out the issue. 

Usually, export inspection agencies in all countries are the nodal agencies to carry out such investigations.

“After the incident, there was a quick response from our side by taking all means to ensure that there was no lapse in quality. We are now waiting for the exports to resume,” he said.

Mpeda officials have issued a show cause notice to the blacklisted exporting firms, thus suspending exports from these units. 

As a key pillar of market promotion activities, officials said the exporting agency will not compromise on product quality. Last year, India’s seafood exports to Qatar were 4,000 tonnes and fetched revenue to the tune of $25 million, the officials added.

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