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Updated on March 8, 2019 From The Global New Light of Myanmar

Nearly 60% of dried fish depots suspended due to import ban

NEARLY 60 per cent of dried fish depots in the country have suspended operations on account of the ban on import of raw dried fish, according to the Myanmar Fish Paste, Dried Fish, and Fish Sauce Entrepreneurs Association.
       Scarcity of raw products amid an increasing demand has pushed about 200 of the 300 dried fish entrepreneurs in Myanmar to suspend their businesses.
       “There are around 300 dried fish entrepreneurs in Myanmar. Only 50 depots got raw dried fish because we have been banned from importing it. The Trade Department is not issuing import licenses. So, about 100 entrepreneurs are importing raw dried fish illegally,” said U Soe Naing Win, the chairman of the Myanmar Fish Paste, Dried Fish, and Fish Sauce Entrepreneurs Association.
       “Although the Fisheries Department and the Myanmar Fisheries Federation are issuing recommendation letters to allow entrepreneurs to import raw dried fish, imports of only those fish and prawn species which could not be caught within the country have been permitted. The Trade Department has suspended issuing of import licenses since November, 2018,” he said.
       “Earlier, we paid K1.5 million in tax for importing a container of raw dried fish. But now, the tax has been increased to K4.5 million as fish are being imported via Thailand,” he added.
       “I prefer to operate legally because unlawful ways of doing business can cause our fisheries sector to collapse. Anyone can ask me about the laws concerning their business. If I don’t know, I will ask the fisheries department and share the guidelines. It is better for us to work according to the procedures, because, if we find a striped catfish inflicted with disease, we may not know if it has been illegally imported or produced locally,” said Dr. Toe Nandar Tin, the Vice Chairwoman of the MFF.
       The fisheries federation plans to raise the issue of import suspension on raw dried fish with officials from the Trade Department.
       To fulfil local demand, Myanmar has been importing raw dried fish from Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Oman, according to the Myanmar Fish Paste, Dried Fish, and Fish Sauce Entrepreneurs Association.
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