Last updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019


European Commission to Review Yellow Card against Vietnamese Fisheries

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The European Commission inspectors have noted progress from Vietnam and will review Vietnam's "yellow card" issue in January 2019.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), after the inspection period from 15-24 May 2018, the European Commission will review the issue of the "yellow card" of Vietnam in January 2019.

Specifically, the leaders of MARD said that to overcome the "yellow card", Vietnamese fisheries still have some great challenges. In particular, there are many holes in the control of catching and tracing of exploited aquatic products. Fishing control also reveals many issues that need to be addressed.

Currently, Vietnam has nearly 110,000 fishing vessels, of which about 33,000 fishing vessels are offshore (capacity of 90 CV or more), but only about 3,000 vessels are equipped with Movimar satellite navigation equipment. Thus, the number of ships required to install satellite navigation equipment is very large. The Vietnamese side has shown the transparency and shared with the European Commission that Vietnam is lacking funds to install equipment for fishing vessels and will show efforts to overcome it in the coming time. In addition, although Vietnam has incorporated the EC recommendations into the Fisheries Law of 2017, decrees, guidelines, etc., it is necessary to promote implementation in the localities.

In addition, the leaders of MARD also said that the two sides agreed that in January 2019, the delegation of EC will return to consider the issue of "yellow card" in Vietnam’s fisheries. The basic issue is that the two sides have actually joined and do not create barriers, causing congestion for goods, the two sides also actively share to better understand each other.

Speaking to the press about the EC delegation's visit to Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said that after the inspection process, the EC basically noted the progress from Vietnam; however, to remove the "yellow card", there are three great challenges to handle.

The first is the control of fisheries from capture to the next stage, i.e traceability. "You see we have holes to overcome," Mr Tuan said.

The second is the control of fishing in the sea. Deputy Minister Tuan analysed, of the 33,000 offshore fishing vessels, only 3,000 were equipped with information equipment. The number of unequipped vessels is very large. Vietnam recognises that it is difficult because all vessels cannot be fully equipped at the same time.

"Third, another issue is that the EC said that issues of Law, Decree are directed drastically at the central level, but at the local level is inadequate. The two sides will meet again and the EC will review to decide whether to withdraw the "yellow card" for Vietnam or not. International experience with the issue of "yellow card" is, no country can be removed under 12 months, but basically the two sides are really into the discussion and do not create barriers, deadlock," Deputy Minister Tuan emphasised.

On the EC side, on October 23, 2017, after announcing the application of yellow card warning measures for Vietnamese seafood products exported to the European Union (EU) this unit has issued nine recommendations that Vietnam should implement immediately in six months from 23 October 2017 to 23 April 2018. These recommendations include: ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the revised national law; Strengthen the effective implementation of international rules and management measures through a full enforcement and monitoring system, overcoming shortcomings identified in the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) related to the requirements of international and regional regulations and within the framework of the exploiting certification scheme, strengthen management and improvement of the registration and licensing system; Balance fishing capacity and fishing fleet policy; enhancing the traceability of fishery products and taking all necessary steps, in accordance with international law, to prevent illegal fishery products from being traded and imported into the territory; Strengthen cooperation with other countries (especially coastal states in the sea where ships operating the Vietnamese flag can operate) in accordance with their international obligations; ensure compliance with reporting obligations and preservation in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).


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