Qatar has 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.

A press release from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said the ban was imposed in November last year ahead of the FIFA World Cup following the alleged detection of Vibrio cholera in a few consignments from India. Qatari authorities informed India that the ban was temporary owing to the lack of sufficient testing laboratories in their country in the run-up to the mega football event.

Also read:Avoid delay in issuing special import permits, says seafood exporters body

Good week for sector

The Department of Commerce along with the Embassy of India in Qatar had since made constant efforts to resolve the issue. Discussions with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health lead 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 seafood exporters in India, considering a similar move by China. We hope that the restrictions by Qatar on the chilled seafood will be cleared soon after a reassessment of the situation,” said MPEDA Chairman D.V. Swamy.

Also read: China lifts suspension on 99 Indian seafood export processing units

Earlier this week, 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.