Salmon exports to China can continue after the Norwegian and Chinese authorities have arrived at a solution for the wording of the certificate notably concerning the diseases ISA and PD.
The last month has seen close contact between the two countries with a view to finding a solution to China’s certification requirements for the fish diseases ISA and PD.
On March 23 China halted imports of whole salmon with heads or viscera from Norway’s northern counties of Sor-Trondelag, Troms and Nordland. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) wrote a letter to the Norwegian authorities about its worries that viruses carried by the products could threaten the Asian country’s fish farming industry
“We have achieved our aim and Norwegian exports can now continue”, says Chief Veterinary Officer in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority Kristina Landsverk.
For the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, it was important that the certificates reflect the rules and systems that Norway has introduced to combat these diseases.
“There are strict rules for ensuring that Norwegian salmon is not sourced from facilities that have outbreaks of ISA and PD”, Landsverk says.
Although agreement has been reached concerning the certificates, challenges still remain in selling salmon to China.
“We know that China analyses and tests Norwegian salmon in respect of both fish health and food safety, and we cannot disregard the fact that this creates further hurdles for the export trade”, says Landsverk.
“We are continuing to work on establishing a technical dialogue with the Chinese veterinary authorities, to allow us to exchange information about how we deal with problems associated with the seafood trade,” adds Landsverk.
The salmon export ban remains in place for processors in Sør-Trøndelag, Nordland and Troms.
“We have received no information about what is required to enable exports from these three counties to resume. So it is difficult to say how long the export ban will last”, says Landsverk.
She adds that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has concentrated on getting new certificates in place first in order to ensure that exports can continue.
Photos: Norwegian Seafood Council