VCN - Currently food products contain products derived from animal imports into Vietnam, although the health certificate of exporting countries must be 100% quarantined to be cleared by Circular 25/2016 and Circular No. 24/2017 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, whether fresh or processed, or contains only animal derived ingredients such as whey protein, lactose, etc. This is one of the reflections of the enterprises on specialized inspection in the field of agriculture.
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Products with a few drops of milk must also be inspected
At the workshop "Review of regulations on business conditions, specialized inspection in agriculture and rural development: issues of animal and animal products quarantine and policy recommendations" On November 1, the representatives from the Department of Animal Health (MARD) informed about new points in the draft amendments to the relevant circulars.
Accordingly, the Draft amending Circular 25/2016/TT-BNNTPNT on the quarantine of animals and animal products on land, Draft amending Circular No. 26/2016/TT-BNTPTNT on quarantine Aquatic animal products and products have many breakthrough amendments.
Specifically: carry out quarantine procedures through the National Single Information Portal; Exemption of quarantine certificates of exporting countries and exemption from inspection for samples of imported species weighing less than 50 kg; Quarantine is carried out at border gates or warehouses for low-risk animal products and the product which is not subject to AND inspection.
At the seminar, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, former director of the Department of Management Supervision (General Department of Customs) agreed and highly appreciated the draft amendment of Circular 25/2016/TT-BNNPTNT. According to Mr. Binh, these amendments represent major improvements, major changes and the spirit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, the expert also pointed out three shortcomings in the veterinary quarantine of this draft, which are too broad, too complicated, too costly. For example, for animal products subject to quarantine, Mr. Binh said that the draft expanded the list unnecessarily.
Regarding the procedure, this expert recommends the application of risk management principles in quarantine, based on the level of risk to apply the method, scope, level and place of quarantine. Specifically, should be classified into three categories corresponding to three levels of risk including: high risk will check records, sampling each shipment; average risk will be to check records, random sampling and frequency; Low risk only checks records.
Sharing the current problems of businesses, Mr. Nguyen Hong Uy, Nutritional Board of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham) said: According to the Circular 25/2016 and Circular No. 24/2017 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, food products containing animal origin imported into Vietnam, despite the health certificate of exporting country, must be 100% quarantined to be cleared, whether fresh or processed, or contains only animal derived ingredients such as whey protein, lactose, etc.
"With this rule, a biscuit or a packet of milk coffees containing a few drops of milk, or medical nutrition is inherently safe because it is heat treated and contains only a small amount of protein (casein) is still quarantined, representative from Eurocham said.
100% horizontal inspection is not based on the principles of risk management and international practices are causing many shortcomings for both the management and business community.
Amcham's representative also said that the inspection was not based on the "dangers", 100% of milk and dairy products were quarantined, regardless of where they came from, which was checked by the exporter and granted medical safety certification for the user.
Quarantine time is long and wasteful
Recognizing that the Draft Circular amending Circular 25/2016/TT-BNNPTNT has made a progress in risk management when dividing high risk and low risk items into different audit frequencies, but representatives of Eurocham said that the list of high risk and low risk products should be clarified.
For example, in the draft, raw milk is classified as a high risk group but no raw milk powder or "processed milk" is classified as a low risk group but it is unclear whether it belongs to any kinds of HS code.
Examining one of five batches for low risk groups is a step forward in risk management but should be further improved as there is no difference between areas where there are no epidemics and no warning zones, as with items 1-2 years in a batch is almost unchecked.
"Instead of inspecting 1 in every 5 batches, one batch should be checked randomly each year, while other batches should be sufficiently checked (with medical certificate of exporting country). If samples are not available, or areas where disease is reported, then switch to inspection of all lots, after one year to see all the batches have reached or have announced the end of the epidemic, then allow to reduce the inspection," said Mr. Nguyen Hong Uy.
At the workshop, representatives of Amcham also reflected the prolonged quarantine period, wasting hundreds of billions of VND and affecting the quality of products, especially short-term items such as yogurt, milk, coarse cream.
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The test procedure is also expensive, because by taking five test samples, the price of testing team is up by 5 times. The quarantine certificate is also inadequate when it is valid for only 2 months.
Amcham recommended that the concept of "dairy products" should be clarified to avoid confusing coffee products, and that some milk products are considered dairy products. At the same time, quarantine only for fresh or semi-processed products. Dairy products that have been granted medical certification by the competent authority of the exporting country certify the safety of users who need to be exempted from quarantine.
By H. Anh/ Huu Tuc