Philippine exporters can  resume exports of chilled seafood to Qatar starting November 15.
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) of Qatar announced the lifting of its temporary ban on the importation of chilled seafood (such as fish, shrimp, squid, mussels, oysters, etc.) from the Philippines but with specific control measures.
In an advisory, the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) reminded exporters of Qatar MOPH’s requirement for them to submit a certificate of conformity issued by third-party inspectors at the country of origin before the products are shipped.
The EMB said MOPH has so far released a list of authorized third-party inspectors, three of which are in the Philippines: TUV NORD Philippines,  TUV Rheinland Philippines and Intertek Testing Services Philippnes Inc. A fourth one,  TUV Austria, has Westin laboratory in Singapore.
MOPH in February  lifted the ban on  frozen seafood from the Philippines but retained import restrictions on chilled seafood products. The decision comes after the necessary measures were said to be taken as a precautionary measure to ensure compliance with shipments.
The  ban on both chilled and frozen seafood was implemented in November as a precautionary measure to monitor the risk of contamination of fresh and frozen seafood products with Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
Qatar has also lifted the temporary ban on imports from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
The EMB advised Philippine exporters to continue strict compliance with food safety regulations to ensure the continued acceptance of their products in Qatar and other export markets. – Irma Isip
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