11 July 2024

The Thai government cannot stop the import of squid and cuttlefish from Myanmar as demanded by Thai fishermen because this will breach the World Trade Organization and AFTA agreements, said Mr Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of Foreign Trade Department, on Friday.

He said that banning import of such seafoods from Myanmar was not possible because they are listed as protected products in accordance with the Imports and Exports Act.

Fishermen in Samut Songkhram have complained that AFTA has opened the gate for the import of squid in particular from Myanmar, a member of Asean, since 2016 and this has suppressed the price of locally-caught squid to 50-60 baht per kg instead of 120-130 baht/kg as was the case in the past.

Mr Adul, however, said that there might be one way to deal with the seafood import from Myanmar that is through the invocation of heath standard and quality standard of the seafood from Myanmar in accordance with the Fishing Act.

During the first nine months of this year, Thailand imported 12.55 millon kgs of frozen squid and cuttlefish worth 374.9 million baht from Myanmar – an increase of 17.25 percent from the same period last year .