A food safety regulations audit conducted by the European Union in Brazil uncovered several discrepancies. This led Brazil’s agriculture, animal husbandry and supply ministry on December 26 announced a temporary ban on fish exports to the European Union.

The Brazilian ministry said the ban, which takes effect on January 3, moves to avoid any blockade from the EU.

As reported by Telesur online, the EU audit found discrepancies at several Brazilian companies that export fish to Europe. EU inspectors took issue with six of the 10 export companies that were audited.

In September, the European Union carried out the audit of Brazil’s fishery sector and, in turn, slammed the sector for not separating the capture of wild fish and fish farming activities.

Additionally, an intensive inspection of the ships used by Brazil’s seafood exporters was also suggested by the auditors.

According to official data, fish exports totalled $21.8m from January to November in 2017.