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

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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

U.S. TPP Objectives: Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Non-tariff trade barriers, such as duplicative testing and unscientific regulations imposed on food and agricultural goods, are among the biggest challenges facing exporters across the Asia-Pacific region.  An effective regulatory program should protect the public interest – for example in health, safety, and environmental protection – and do so in a manner that is no more trade restrictive than necessary to achieve the policy goal.  The United States is therefore seeking in TPP to strengthen rules intended to eliminate unwarranted technical barriers to trade (TBT) and build upon WTO commitments in this area, and to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) are developed and implemented in a transparent, science-based manner. Read more