Export consignments of live crabs and eels to China will not be allowed without 'clinical compliance certification' by the state veterinary office, according to a protocol prepared by a Chinese authority.
The General Administra-tion of China Customs (GACC) has recently communicated this to the Bangladesh mission in Beijing.
The Chinese side has agreed to register the five enterprises recommended by the Bangladesh side to export the eels and crabs to China, according to a letter sent by the Bangladesh mission in Beijing to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
However, GACC urged the Bangladesh authorities to strengthen supervision of the export items and to implement various epidemic prevention systems in the export process, added the letter.
The Chinese state entity also requested the Bangladesh authorities to conduct a study and give feedback on the draft protocol of quarantine and health requirements for edible aquatic animals to be exported to China, as per the letter.
Contacted, deputy director of fisheries department Dr Md Neazuddin (fish inspection and quality control) said a process was underway to start the export of eels and crabs to China.
The Chinese authorities recently sent a protocol in this regard, he said, hoping that the exporters would be able to send their consignments after signing the protocol.
The fisheries and livestock ministry is responsible for the inspection and quarantine of edible aquatic animals to be exported to China and the issuance of health certificates, mentioned the protocol. The FE has obtained a copy of the protocol.
"The edible aquatic animals shall be examined clinically by an official veterinarian before export and confirmed to be healthy, and that no clinical symptoms of contagious diseases are found and they are suitable for transportation," read the protocol.
The protocol has mentioned that Bangladeshi exporters need to be more cautious about standards for exporting live crabs and eels to ensure uninterrupted supply of aquatic products to China, a senior official at the fisheries department said.
China earlier imposed a ban on import of live mud crabs and eels from Bangladesh since, the Chinese authorities said, harmful bacteria were found in some consignments along with forged certificates.
Some firms allegedly submitted such papers to the Chinese authorities while exporting crabs and eel fish.
The Chinese authorities found presence of contaminated substances, estradiol and cadmium in particular, beyond the acceptable limit for human health, the senior government official added.
Live mud crabs and eels are usually exported by air.
There are three labs to test the different export consignments of fish and other related products.
The volume of export of eels and crabs to China was over Tk 2.33 billion in the last fiscal year.
China is Bangladesh's largest trade partner with annual bilateral trade of over $13 billion.
In the fiscal year 2018-19, Bangladesh imported goods worth $12 billion from China, as against exports valued less than $1.0 billion to China.