Qatar lifted its temporary ban on the import of frozen seafood from India, paving the way for enhanced export and improved bilateral relations with the West Asian country.
The ban was imposed in November last year, just ahead of the FIFA World Cup following alleged detection of Vibrio cholera from a few consignments from India. The Qatari authorities had informed India that the ban was temporary and owing to lack of sufficient testing laboratories in their country in the run-up to the football event.
The Department of Commerce under the Government of India along with embassy of India in Qatar had since been making constant efforts to resolve the issue. A rally of discussions with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health had been taken, leading to the February 16 notification lifting the ban on frozen seafood. However, restrictions continue on the export of chilled seafood.
“This week is proving to be very good for the seafood exporters in India, considering a similar lift in the suspension by China. We hope that the restrictions by Qatar on the chilled seafood will also be cleared soon after a reassessment of the situation,” said MPEDA chairman DV Swami, who was in the city in connection with the February 15-17 India International Seafood Show.
On February 14, Beijing lifted suspension of 99 Indian seafood-processing exporters after acknowledging India’s assurance over source control. MPEDA along with other agencies had played a crucial role in getting lifted Beijing’s suspension of a total of 110 units since December 2020.