FDA plans to strengthen third-party food inspection rules

Proposed rule and draft guidance supports new program that will help foreign entities demonstrate imports meet food safety guidelines

The FDA published a proposed rule and a draft guidance document to support a new program under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that will help eligible foreign entities demonstrate that imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements. Read more

Vietnam taking prudent steps toward ASEAN Economic Community

bo truong 1“Vietnam has always focused on protecting items related to agriculture,” MoIT Minister Vu Huy Hoang said. “As a result, if we take prudent steps, we should not be afraid of the AEC.”

Minister Hoang also said Vietnam has always had a clear roadmap, especially in terms of sensitive goods of which domestic production capability is limited, so that the country will have a certain period for the local production sector to improve its capacities and increase market share later. Read more

Regulatory Harmonization Vital for ASEAN Economic Community to Succeed

250px-Seal_of_ASEAN.svgSenior government and business leaders from ASEAN gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos to discuss the state of the global economy and map the key transformations reshaping the world. A significant focus of the discussions was on ASEAN, where government and business leaders evaluated whether the region is on the right track towards achieving ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. Read more

ASEAN Economic Community – The Way Forward for Food

ASEAN Business Club Forum 2014 F&B SectorSingapore played host to the 2nd ASEAN Business Club (ABC) Forum, Sep 8-9, 2014, which was attended by over 300 CEOs and senior business leaders throughout the South East Asia region.

This year’s forum included a new focus on the Food & Beverage Sector thanks to input from joint research partners, FIA and the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA). This sector-focussed dialogue was led by Pushpanathan Sundram, special Advisor to AFBA, Hendro Poedjono, FIA Lead Representative for AFBA and Sunny Koh, AFBA Chairman for Singapore, who all participated in the Food and Beverage Roundtable. Read more

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Global Initiative

import_border_photos06_960Global production of FDA-regulated products has quadrupled over the last decade and continues to grow.  Today, FDA-regulated products originate from more than 150 countries, 130,000 importers and 300,000 foreign facilities. Fifty percent of fresh fruits, 20 percent of vegetables, and 80 percent of seafood consumed in America comes from abroad.  Similarly, 40 percent of finished drugs come from overseas, and 80 percent of active ingredients manufacturers are located outside the US.  Further, half of all medical devices are imported. The growth in imports has been rapid and promises to accelerate. As our world transforms and becomes increasingly globalized, it is vital that we come together as a global community – in new, unprecedented, and even unexpected ways – to build a public health safety net for consumers around the world. Read more

U.S. opens door to Vietnam tropical fruits

Litchi and LonganVietnamese litchi and longan will be allowed to be sold in the U.S. starting in October, following an amended regulation from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The APHIS, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for protecting animal and plant health, has amended the “fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of litchi and longan fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States,” according to a document published in the Federal Register on Thursday. Read more

Proposed excise tax on carbonated soft drinks may be reconsidered

Feedback sought on tax exemption for fizzy drinksViet Nam’s policy-makers may reconsider a proposal to impose a 10% excise tax on carbonated soft drinks.

A draft amendment by the Ministry of Finance to the Excise Tax Law included carbonated soft drinks in a list of products subject to the tax. The ministry claimed that “as these drinks posed a health risk, the tax would help prevent the risk and substantially increase government revenue.”

Deputy Head of Viet Nam Food Association, the Ministry of Health Nguyen Hung Long, said that carbon dioxide, preservatives, sweeteners and food colorants in carbonated drinks were already tested by the FAO/WHO Codex Committee. These food additives were proven not to cause health risks if the use of additives followed Codex standards.

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U.S. FDA, Food Safety Modernization Act and Foreign Supplier Verification Program

FDA logo (short)

FDA has released a number of proposed rules based on the Food Safety Modernization Act, including the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, and is mandated by law to release final rules in 2015 and 2016. Companies would be wise to follow the rule-making closely, and be prepared to comply with the new rules as they are released. These new regulations include requirements for: 

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Letter to Government re proposed excise tax on carbonated soft drinks, Jun 2, 2014

Summary: “We recommend that the Government of Vietnam remove “non-alcoholic carbonated sweetened beverage” from the Draft Law on Excise Tax because: (1) Carbonation (CO2) in carbonated sweetened beverages is not harmful to human health; (2) The proposed excise tax on only “carbonated sweetened beverages” would be discriminatory, and would violate WTO commitments on “national treatment;” (3) the proposed excise tax on carbonated sweetened beverages would not increase tax revenue significantly, but would be disruptive and damaging to the beverage industry, as well as the economy; and (4) Vietnam would become the first and only country to impose an excise tax solely on sweetened carbonated beverages.” Read more

FAQ: How can I find a list of U.S “Process Verified” suppliers of meats and poultry?

Question: Do you know who is importing frozen chicken drum sticks? Or should I contact the US Deptartment of Agriculture? My client  is interested in purchasing direct from a U.S. supplier.  Or, if there is an importer/distributor that has established relationships with U.S. suppliers, maybe that would be more efficient. Do you have a list of importers/distributors of USA poultry? Read more