Qatar lifts ban on seafood

Doha: Qatar this week lifted its temporary ban on the import of frozen seafood after four months, said the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar in a statement.

The ban on the import of frozen seafood will be lifted under certain conditions with effect from February 22, 2023 following the results of risk assessment carried out by the competent department.

The Ministry of Public Health has also requested third-party verification. A further notification will be sent to the Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) regarding chilled seafood in a month.

The temporary ban was imposed due to the discovery of a virus named ‘V cholera’, initially found in an Indian consignment, by the Food Safety Department, following which Qatar banned seafood imports from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

The first coordination meeting was held on November 14, 2022 coordinated by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) between the Trade Mission, Qatar and the Marine Fisheries Department (MFD).

Earlier in the meeting, MFD DG Shazia Naz apprised it of the regulatory steps to be taken to “re-open the stoppage”. She requested the mission to provide precautionary requirements for the import of fishery products so that an action plan may be implemented.

She informed the trade mission that “laboratory facilities are available at MFD to conduct vibrio cholera testing and MFD will send compliance with the monitoring plan shared by the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar”.

On January 20, 2023, MFD sent a dossier to the trade mission of Qatar containing laboratory reports and other required compliance reports.

The collaborative efforts brought relief to the fisheries’ exporters of Pakistan and timely compliance with requirements of the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar would be ensured to keep the ban lifted.