January 22, 2017 00:33

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Seafood enterprises are happy with removal of specialized regulations

16:25 | 03/01/2017

VCN- Seafood enterprises expressed their pleasure and said that seafood products export will be more favorable because they are free from checking food safety.

seafood enterprises are happy with removal of specialized regulations
Export seafood processing at the Binh Dinh Seafood Joint Stock Company. Photo: Thu Hoa

Recently, in Resolution No. 103/NQ-CP, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to allow exemption from the State checking on food safety, conformity announcement and food safety appropriation announcement, and exemption from labeling by Vietnamese for food safety, food ingredients, food additives, food processing aids ingredients, packaging materials and utensils that imported are into Vietnam only for export processing use, not for domestic market. This Decision make seafood exporters feel “as happy as a sandboy”.

Ms. Le Thi Dieu Thi - Technical Manager of the Vinh Hoan Corp said, this is really good news for the Vinh Hoan Corp in particular and for seafood enterprises in general. The company thanks the Vietnam Association of Seafood Export (VASEP) for working side by side with enterprises, and the policy lobbying group of the VASEP has tried their best in the last time to gain this achievement.

According to Ms. Thi, previously, export products (not for the domestic market) have to announce food safety regulations (including raw materials for processing, food additives, spices, packaging etc.), to conform with regulations. In fact, this procedure is very costly, incurs storage costs, demurrage, even losing opportunities of business. Because, the conformity records food safety regulations announcement have to submit to the Department of Food Safety in Hanoi, instead of the sub of food safety under the local Department of Health.

According to the regulations and under the current guidelines, the publication record has to compliance with Decree 38/2012/NĐ-CP on food safety announcement. But this decree only regulates for domestic consumption goods, instead of for the processed goods or processing for export goods, so that enterprises cannot complete their records. Actually, the import goods for processing need only the detailed statements for the physical-chemistry, microbiology, and quality.

With regard to the records to ask for license, as stipulated, need to have the original test results of quality, microbiological, chemical and physical condition of the shipment from customers. However, businesses do not know have to have the appropriate quality testing since there is no guidance, in case the records were returned, enterprises need to ask customers to supplement checking then send the original document back to Vietnam for resubmitting.

This procedure wastes a lot of time and cost. To complete the conformity announcement and the food safety appropriate regulations, enterprises need to take time (usually about 1 month) with a variety of attached documents and incurred costs for storage, demurrage, even losing business opportunities of enterprises because time for Customs clearance is extended, progress of goods delivery does not meet the customers’ requirements.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vo Hung Phong, from the Havico company said that Resolution No. 103/NQ-CP is the most precious gift for all businesses in 2016. This move of the Government contributes to overcome a part of the difficulties and obstacles and create favorable conditions for producing and processing activities of seafood enterprises.

"I would like to thank the Government, VASEP and other businesses in the policy lobbying network working side by side together to create this success in particular and the seafood enterprise community in general because the labeling and additional labels on the packaging of imported raw materials to produce export products (including raw materials, additives, processing aids, seasoning) are also problems that hinder seafood enterprises activities".

According to Mr. Phong, in recent years, some enterprises have been fined by the market management inspection Team because the stored seafood import materials (for export processing) are only labeled in English, not Vietnamese.

However, the majority of seafood enterprises import seafood materials to produce export products or import for businesses to continue to produce goods for export (no circulating or consumption in the country), so cannot be labeled in Vietnamese as prescribed. The Vietnamese labeling requirements only apply for the products to be circulated to consume domestically, while the products for export, not for circulating domestically (including raw materials, additives, processing support auxiliaries, seasoning) do not need to be labeled in Vietnamese.

The seafood business said that, when the bottlenecks that hinder seafood export activities are removed, seafood exports will improve competitiveness for businesses.

By Lê Thu/ Huu Tuc