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Qatar Lifts Ban on Frozen Seafood Imports from India

Qatar lifted its temporary ban on frozen seafood imports from India, paving the way for increased exports and better bilateral relations with the West Asian country.

Shivam Dwivedi
A series of meetings with Qatar's Ministry of Public Health had resulted in the February 16 notification lifting the ban on frozen seafood.
A series of meetings with Qatar's Ministry of Public Health had resulted in the February 16 notification lifting the ban on frozen seafood.

The ban was imposed last November, just before the FIFA World Cup, in response to the alleged detection of Vibrio cholera in a few consignments from India. In the run-up to the football tournament, Qatari authorities informed India that the ban was temporary due to a lack of testing laboratories in their country.

Since then, the Government of India's Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the Indian embassy in Qatar, has been working tirelessly to resolve the issue.

A series of meetings with Qatar's Ministry of Public Health had resulted in the February 16 notification lifting the ban on frozen seafood. However, restrictions on the export of chilled seafood remain in place.

"This week is proving to be very good for the seafood exporters in India, considering a similar lift in the suspension by China," said MPEDA Chairman D.V. Swami, who is in town for the February 15-17 India International Seafood Show.

"We hope that Qatar's restrictions on chilled seafood will be lifted soon after a reassessment of the situation," he added.

Beijing lifted the suspension of 99 Indian seafood-processing exporters earlier this week, on February 14, after acknowledging India's assurances about source control.

MPEDA, along with other agencies, played a critical role in lifting Beijing's suspension of 110 units since December 2020.

India primarily exports frozen shrimp, fish, cuttlefish, squids, dried products, live products, and chilled products. Frozen shrimp is the most exported marine product, accounting for more than 53% of total quantity and 75.11% of total export US dollar value.

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