VCN- On the afternoon of 8th March 2018, the Working Group 344 (the specialized working group under Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Industry and Trade) worked with Vietnam Food Administration under Ministry of Health, to discuss the plan of coordination in managing and preventing counterfeit goods, low-quality goods in food safety field, especially supplemental food.
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Mr. Tran Hung, Deputy Director of Market Management Department, Head of the Working Group 344 said that in recent years, the situation of counterfeit goods, intellectual property infringing goods in the field of food safety, especially supplemental foods, have caused concern for the public opinion.
According to the summary from the Steering Committee 389 Hanoi, over the past years, Hanoi handled over 1,580 cases of counterfeit goods and low-quality goods. Of which, the Market Management force handled over 1,550 cases, the Police authority handled 2 cases, the Health sector handled 2 cases and the Customs authority handled 2 cases.
In the field of food safety, Mr. Duong Ngoc Vien, Head of Market Management Team No. 14, Hanoi City said that currently, many sectors were in charge of inspection for safety food violations, but in summary, these violations were only handled by the Market Management force, Police authority, the Customs authority.
Mr. Do Huu Tuan, Deputy Director of Vietnam Food Administration, Ministry of Health said that as the State management agency in the field of food safety, the Vietnam Food Administration focused mainly on food safety inspection for supplemental foods. The contents of the specialized inspection include the following: compliance with the law on hygiene in production, compliance in labeling, product quality, as well as advertising and circulation in the market.
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Also, Mr. Tuan, the Administration coordinated with the departments of the Ministry of Information and Communications to handle the web sites that advertised untrue contents. Violations which were determined and handled for administrative violations were published in accordance with the law in the Administration’s website.
According to the management agencies, although the violations in supplemental food field still take place, the handling and prosecution for these violations is not easy. Because in order to evaluate the goods, whether or not counterfeit, it depends on the verification.
Therefore, to further strengthen the management and prevention of counterfeit goods, low-quality goods in the food safety field, and especially supplemental foods, Mr. Kieu Nghiep, Deputy Head of the Working Group 344 said that inspection and handling was a supportive measure for management. Hence, the Working Group expected the Vietnam Food Administration to coordinate quickly and effectively.
"The two sides can sign a coordination agreement. In addition, the Vietnam Food Administration should issue an official letter to direct the local sub-administrations to coordinate more drastically in the prevention of counterfeit goods and intellectual property infringing goods with the local market management force," Mr. Nghiep said.
For Ministry of Health, according to Mr. Tuan, the Health sector will be difficult to implement in the management by itself because enterprises are not afraid of specialized inspection. Especially, at present, the Vietnam Food Administration is carrying out Decree No.15/2018/ND-CP detailing the implementation of some articles of the Law on Food Safety, replacing Decree 38/2012/ND-CP, which will change the management mechanism on food safety. Therefore, the Administration needs to closely collaborate with authorities such as Customs, Market Management, Environmental Police, Economic police in post-inspection.
The Deputy Director of Vietnam Food Administration affirmed that the Administration would assign human resources and make plans to promptly and closely collaborate in food safety management and supplemental food. "In the peak stage, we will request units to meet requirements while on duty during the Working Group’s performance, to analyse, verify and return the fastest results, and handle them in a timely fashion', Mr.Tuan said.
In order to actively implement this work, Mr. Tuan also expects the Working Group to report to the Market Management Department on the specific plan deploying in 2018 in 20 localities for food safety field. On that basis, the Administration will issue specific instructions for each locality to deploy effectively.
By Duong Ngan/Ngoc Loan