Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Nov 23, 2002
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
Bid to stop rejection Show-cause to 12 seafood exporters
KOCHI, Nov. 22
THE Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has issued show-cause notices to 12 merchant exporters in a bid to arrest rejections of seafood consignments (due to chemical residue detection) from the country.
Sources said 4-5 of these exporters were from Kerala.
When contacted, Mr Jose Cyriac, Chairman of MPEDA, said the solution lay in evolving a long-term policy with regard to merchant exporters. ``We would like a consensual approach on this issue. And as such we hope to get together with the seafood exporters and work something out,'' he said.
The regulatory body on investigation had found that the majority of the `infected' seafood consignments originated from merchant exporters in the industry.
Merchant exporters do not have their own processing facilities and usually, take over the factories of others on lease (to process, package and export). It is these facilities that are proving to be the crux of the problem.
``Such kind of exporters have no commitment and are looking at short-term gains. Even their lease is not a long-term one. In fact in the recent past a unit took about 7-10 hits, which was later traced to a merchant exporter,'' an official source said.
The officials, however, were quick to clarify that the route-thru exporters (one who serve merely as conduits) were not the cause of the problem.
Given this, MPEDA is considering setting limits on the number of merchant exporters attached to a processing unit.
``There are too many people operating from the same unit. While it makes no sense to withdraw permission to use the processing facility of exporters, the other alternate is to put a limit on it,'' Mr. Cyriac said.
He said that MPEDA was also considering the possibility of linking the number of exporters attached to a unit to the capacity of the unit. Currently, only the capacity of the EU units are fixed. The regulator is looking to fix the capacities of the non-EU units too.
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