About the author  ⁄ AmCham Vietnam

AmCham is an independent association of companies with the objective of promoting trade and investment between Vietnam and the U.S. With two chapters, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi, our membership of 700 companies and 1,500 representatives is unified by a commitment to promote trade and investment between Vietnam and the United States.

A number of firms have started to look for help from the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (SMEDF) after its first year of operation.

Talking to VIR’s Khanh An, Hoang Thi Hong, general director of SMEDF, said the fund has only provided support for a limited number of firms, but is planning to become a trusted supporter for SMEs.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a step towards ensuring the accuracy of its inventory of importers responsible for meeting the requirements of the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) rule.

The FDA issued guidance formally recognizing the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as an acceptable unique facility identifier (UFI) for FSVP. The identification of importers will help the FDA effectively implement, monitor compliance with, and enforce the FSVP requirements, which are designed to help ensure that imported foods meet U.S. safety standards.

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After an 18-month transition period, full enforcement of USDA inspection of siluriformes fish, including catfish will begin on Sep 1, 2017. According to some Vietnam news reports, “the change will have potentially disastrous consequences for Vietnam catfish producers, because while the FDA does spot checks on a small sample of imports as they arrive, the USDA requires on-site inspections of production facilities. For countries like Vietnam, setting up an equivalent system could take years and effectively cripple the industry.”

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has signed an arrangement with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources recognizing each other’s food safety systems as comparable to each other. This is the third time that the FDA has recognized a foreign food safety system as comparable, the first being New Zealand in 2012 and Canada in 2016.

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