35,000 metric tons fish imports OK’d for Q4

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
35,000 metric tons fish imports OK�d for Q4
Various seafood products are on display for sale at the fish market in Dagupan City on May 30, 2023.
STAR / Cesar Ramirez

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) approved the importation of 35,000 metric tons (MT) of frozen fish for wet markets in the last quarter of the year after it issued guidelines for the certificate of necessity to import (CNI) volume.

The CNI volume for frozen round scad, bigeye scad, mackerel, bonito and moonfish for wet markets from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 has been set in an Aug. 15 memorandum circular signed by Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban.

In the memorandum circular, the DA said 80 percent of the maximum importable volume of frozen fish shall be allocated to commercial fishing sector importers registered with the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, and 20 percent to fisheries associations or cooperatives.

Importers must have a cold storage facility or cold storage warehouse lease agreement before the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances.

Qualified importers issued with SPSICs shall regularly submit a disposition report of the imported fish to BFAR every 14 days following the BFAR-prescribed disposition report format.

“The importers shall allow BFAR inspectors, quarantine officers and law enforcers to conduct inspection and monitoring of the imported fish stored in the BFAR-registered storage facility and provide data for the purpose of performance evaluation of said CNI,” the DA said.

The BFAR shall encourage importers to immediately trade imported fish to ensure there is no overlap with the local catch by the end of the closed fishing season.

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