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Food Law in Vietnam, by Russin & Vecchi

Russin & Vecchi, International Legal Counsellors have prepared a memo that compares, analyzes and discusses the Food Law in Vietnam.

Click here to download Food Law in Vietnam, by Russin & Vecchi (March 2019).

Introduction

Understanding Vietnamese laws and regulations concerning food can be a challenge. The confusion results from the lack of a unified food law. Instead, the government relies primarily on laws which regulate the quality of goods in general. There are also specific regulations that apply these laws to food products. This means that there are two sets of regulations, one covering goods in general, and the other covering food products, and they often overlap.

A discussion of Vietnamese food law must begin with a discussion of the management of the quality of goods. The major law on the subject is the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods. This Law states that “he State shall implement a uniform system to control the quality of goods.”1 However, “in cases where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party contain provisions which differ from the provisions of the Law, the provisions of such international treaties shall prevail.”

The Law on the Quality of Products and Goods came into effect on 1 July 2008 and replaces the Ordinance on the Quality of Goods. The Law provides that manufacturers and traders must take responsibility for the quality of the goods or products that they manufacture or trade in order to ensure safety for humans, animals, plants, property and the environment, and to enhance the productivity, quality and competitiveness of Vietnamese goods and products.

The Ordinance on the Hygiene and Safety of Foods, which came into force on 1 November 2003, deals specifically with some aspects of food. In particular, this Ordinance details provisions on “securing food hygiene and safety in the process of food production and sale; preventing and overcoming food poisoning and diseases which are spread through foods.”

In language similar to the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods, the Ordinance on the Hygiene and Safety of Foods states that:

All Vietnamese organizations, households and individuals as well as foreign individuals and organizations that produce and trade in foods within the territory of Vietnam are subject to Vietnamese law. In cases where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party, contain provisions which differ from the provisions of the Ordinance, the provisions of such international treaties shall apply.

These two legal documents give the Ministry of Science and Technology (“MOST”) overall responsibility for the quality of goods, including foods. Specific responsibility for the hygiene and safety of foods, however, is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health (“MOH”). Before the enactment of the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods, the Government issued Decree 179/2004/ND-CP dated 21 October 2004 (“Decree 179”) on state management of the quality of products and goods. Decree 179 details the responsibility of the MOST and of certain other ministries and branches with respect to the quality of goods. The MOH is fully responsible for the safety and hygiene of foods. However, in case of overlapping responsibilities between these two ministries, MOST is responsible to report to the Prime Minister in order to receive a final decision. Decree 179 was promulgated to implement the now abrogated Ordinance on the Quality of Goods. While a new decree to implement the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods and to replace Decree 179 is not yet in place, such provisions of Decree 179 that are not contrary to the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods remain applicable.

US applies new food safety rules

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) will officially apply the new FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) from now to early 2016. A Viet Nam News Agency reporter talked with On Le Thi Bich, head of the export-import department of the Vina Commodities Co, about how the new rules will affect local firms.

As an experienced exporter to the US, could you tell me about the most important parts of the new FSMA and what businesses exporting products to this market should look out for?

Labels recorded with unadequate information are one of the main causes for products on their way into the US market being held up at the port. The new provisions in the FSMA require more specific details, especially in the labelling method. In addition, some general requirements must be met, such as product name, weight, ingredients, and the new law also has different rules for various types of products.

To ensure that Vietnamese food, drugs and beverages are eligible to be imported into the US, the importers are required to set up programmes to confirm the safety of all shipments into the US with safety certificates for each shipment.

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Letter to Ministry of Health regarding Food Safety Law

Tiếng Việt – Vietnamese

25 October 2011

To:Ministry of Health
cc:Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Food Administration of Vietnam, Ministry of Health
Administrative Procedures Control Agency

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SGS expands CPSC-certified crib testing to labs in U.S. and Vietnam

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Aug. 19, 2011. SGS North America Inc. today announced the expansion of its full-size and non-full-size crib safety testing services with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification of company labs in Fairfield, N.J., and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to test for compliance with new CPSC crib safety rules. Added to the earlier certification of the company’s Shanghai lab, SGS now has the ability to test cribs to be sold in the U.S. market at all major points of manufacture.

In the U.S., the SGS lab in New Jersey now serves the large domestic crib manufacturing base. It also provides testing services for existing crib inventory produced domestically or imported to the U.S. on or after June 28, 2011, the effective date of the new standard.

In Shanghai and Vietnam, the ability to source crib testing from local SGS labs eliminates the need for Asian manufacturers to ship products to the U.S. for testing and avoids resulting delays in getting new crib models to market.

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Weekly Update Aug 9: U.S. Import Requirements, Project 30, TPP, Palooza, Ports & Infrastructure

Th, Aug 12 How to Meet New U.S. Import Requirements for environment, quality, safety, and labor

We, Aug 25 AmCham Young Professionals Palooza Party

Project 30: Administrative Procedures Reform: Update (Jul 20, 2010)

Two Web Sites for Overseas U.S. Voters: Online Voter Registration & Ballot Delivery

Vietnam and the TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Southern Key Economic Region: Ports, Industrial Parks, and Other Infrastructure

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

Mo, Aug 9 Wharton Full-Time MBA Presentation You will learn more about whether an MBA and an MBA from Wharton is right for you. Meet members of the Wharton community and discover our distinctively collaborative environment, innovative learning, global access, and diversity of talent that places you at the leading edge of new ideas that shape worldwide practice in the business, non-profit, and government sectors.

Mo- Su, Aug 9-22 Amuse Bouche Menu at Caravelle Perfectly selected by Chef Darren Watson, the menu emphasizes small and intensely flavored dishes. Starting from appetizers to main courses and desserts, simple offerings show up imagination and inspiration.

Th, Aug 12 How to meet new U.S. import requirements for environment, quality, safety, and labor Requirements imposed on U.S. imports from Vietnam are becoming more diverse. In addition to requirements relating to product quality and safety, labor and environmental standards are increasing and getting stricter. There are both “government requirements” such as the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act” (CPSIA) as well as “market requirements” based on consumer trends, such as the “Sustainability Product Index” (Wal-Mart’s “15 Questions”) At this event, you will learn how exporters in Vietnam can address the latest requirements, become more competitive, and increase their sales.

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Weekly Update Aug 2: Legal Committee, U.S. Import Requirements, Palooza, Voter Registration

Tu, Aug 3 Legal & VBF Committee Meeting

Th, Aug 12 How to meet new U.S. import requirements for quality, safety, labor and environment

We, Aug 25 AmCham Young Professionals Palooza Party

Project 30: Administrative Procedures Reform: Update (Jun 15, 2010)

Two Web Sites for Overseas U.S. Voters: Online Voter Registration & Ballot Delivery

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

Aug 2-15 Champagne & Chocolate dipped Strawberries at Caravelle Hotel Certain ingredients will always be considered romantic. Chocolates, strawberries and champagne – what better way to treat the one you love? A chilled glass of Mumm Champagne and half a dozen sweet ripe strawberries dipped in the most exquisite chocolate. Together they sound like the start of a night to remember in our Lobby Lounge.

Tu, Aug 3 Legal & VBF Committee Meeting to discuss status of Project 30, International Energy and Infrastructure Arbitration, and U.S.-Vietnam trade agenda (including Trans-Pacific Partnership and Bilateral Investment Treaty).

Th, Aug 12 How to meet new U.S. import requirements for quality, safety, labor and environment Requirements imposed on U.S. imports from Vietnam are becoming more diverse. In addition to requirements relating to product quality and safety, labor and environmental standards are increasing and getting stricter. There are both “government requirements” such as the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act” (CPSIA) as well as “market requirements” based on consumer trends, such as the “Sustainability Product Index.” At this event, you will learn how exporters in Vietnam can address the latest requirements, become more competitive, and increase their sales.

Read more

Food Law in Vietnam, by Russin & Vecchi (Nov 2008)

Russin & Vecchi, International Legal Counsellors have prepared a memo that compares, analyzes and discusses the Food Law in Vietnam.

Click here to download Food Law in Vietnam, by Russin & Vecchi (Nov 2008).

Introduction

Understanding Vietnamese laws and regulations concerning food can be a challenge. The confusion results from the lack of a unified food law. Instead, the government relies primarily on laws which regulate the quality of goods in general. There are also specific regulations that apply these laws to food products. This means that there are two sets of regulations, one covering goods in general, and the other covering food products, and they often overlap.

A discussion of Vietnamese food law must begin with a discussion of the management of the quality of goods. The major law on the subject is the Law on the Quality of Products and Goods. This Law states that “he State shall implement a uniform system to control the quality of goods.”1 However, “in cases where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party contain provisions which differ from the provisions of the Law, the provisions of such international treaties shall prevail.”

The Law on the Quality of Products and Goods came into effect on 1 July 2008 and replaces the Ordinance on the Quality of Goods. The Law provides that manufacturers and traders must take responsibility for the quality of the goods or products that they manufacture or trade in order to ensure safety for humans, animals, plants, property and the environment, and to enhance the productivity, quality and competitiveness of Vietnamese goods and products.

Read more

Weekly Update Sep 01: Holidays, Members Night, Consumer Product Safety

Keep up-to-date about U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment with Weekly Updates.

Weather in Vietnam and Western Pacific: satellite photos, typhoon forecasts, etc. Aug-Sep-Oct are the main months of the “West Pacific Typhoon Season.” Click the link for an update. No tropical storms approaching Vietnam as of Sa-Su, Aug 30-31.

Hurricane Gustaf predicted track eye of hurricane to pass south of New Orleana on Mon, Sep 1 at 1300 local time.

New Members Nearly 20 companies have joined AmCham in the last three months, from legal services, real estate, engineering/design, as well as investment banking and equipment sales. Click the link to learn about the new companies.

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