March 2, 2021 | 20:55 GMT +7

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Wednesday- 10:24, 24/02/2021

Viet Nam Customs orders its units strictly control sturgeon import

The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has issued a document to order its units to strictly control the import of sturgeon in Viet Nam.
The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has ordered its unit to tighten import of sturgeon. Photo: Hoang Anh.

The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has ordered its unit to tighten import of sturgeon. Photo: Hoang Anh.

It aims to ensure the origin and type of imported sturgeon belonging to the list of items that are allowed to be traded in Viet Nam.

The document said the move came after the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development required the Ministry of Finance to direct customs units at key border gates, including Huu Nghi, Lao Cai, Mong Cai, Chi Ma and Ta Lung to strictly tighten the import of sturgeon in Viet Nam on January 26.

Previously, on December 2020, the Nong Nghiep Viet Nam (Vietnamese Agriculture) newspaper reported that Viet Nam Fisheries Association, the Association for the Development of Cold Water Fish in Lam Dong Province and Lao Cai Province continuously sent documents to the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and relevant ministries and sectors asking for help after informing that sturgeon for sale in some big cities and wholesale markets did not belong to the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Viet Nam.

Therefore, to seriously implement the direction, the customs general department required its units in cities and provinces to quickly do some tasks.

Unclear-origin sturgeons are illegally imported in Viet Nam. Photo: Hoang Anh.

Unclear-origin sturgeons are illegally imported in Viet Nam. Photo: Hoang Anh.

The customs general department said based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other legal documents, imported sturgeon must have a CITES permit, including Acipenser brevirostrum, Acipenser sturio that belonged to the Appendix I of the CITES and being imported for non-commercial purposes as well as sturgeon species belonging to the Appendix II of the CITES.

Additionally, sturgeon species that are permitted to be traded in Viet Nam encompassed Beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), Sterlet sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus), Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) and Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).

Sturgeon species that do not belong to the above list must have a permit issued by the Directorate of Fisheries before being imported in Viet Nam for purposes of scientific research or displaying at fairs or exhibitions, the department said.

Besides, sturgeon is also on the list of animal and aquatic products must be quarantined when it is imported to Viet Nam, the department said.

Under the document of the customs general department, sturgeon will be banned from being imported in the following cases: imported sturgeon not for the purpose of serving production or processing food under the Directive No 29/CT-TTg, issued on July 23, 2020 by the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc; Acipenser brevirostrum and Acipenser sturio under the CITES’ Appendix I that are imported for commercial purposes following the Decree No 06/2014 /ND-CP but not serving purposes of production and processing food under the Directive No 29/CT-TTg; and sturgeons do not belong to the list of aquatic species permitted for trading in Vietnam following the Decree No 26/2019/ND-CP.

Thus, the general department ordered customs department in provinces and cities to guide declarants to fully and accurately declare information of imported sturgeon on the customs declaration and send all documents to the e-customs data processing system. The declarants must fully declare the trade name, scientific name and the purpose of the imported sturgeons.

Review CITES issuance

Under the document No 187/VPCP-DMDN, signed by Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien on January 8, the agriculture ministry had worked with local authority to collect samples of sturgeons at Ha Noi-based Yen So wholesale market and HCM City-based Binh Dien wholesale market.

Many sturgeons for sale in some big cities do not belong to the list of species permitted for trading in Viet Nam. Photo: An An.

Many sturgeons for sale in some big cities do not belong to the list of species permitted for trading in Viet Nam. Photo: An An.

The results revealed that 8 of 11 samples of sturgeon did not belong to the list of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Viet Nam.

In response to the situation, the ministry has co-operated with the Ministry of Public Security and localities to review the CITES issuance for imported sturgeons and strictly handle with any violation of individual or ogarnisation importing or doing business with unclear origin of sturgeons.

In Ha Noi, the city’s Industry and Trade Department has recently ordered sturgeon importers to provide enough documents proving the origin of sturgeon and the certificate of food hygiene and safety for the sturgeons to tighten control on imported sturgeon following the direction of the People’s Committee of Ha Noi.

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