SGS accredited as a 3rd Party Certifying Body for FDA and FSMA in Vietnam (Food Safety FAQ)

SGS has been accredited for two FDA programs under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) and Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). These two programs allow expedited entry through Customs into the USA for Vietnamese food facilities/exporters certified under these programs. Read more

A Guide to U.S. Apparel and Household Textiles Compliance Requirements: NIST

This guide addresses apparel, including children’s apparel, and household textiles. It does not include other textiles, such as sleeping bags, tents, sporting goods, or other non-household products that contain or are made from textile materials. 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. 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

Morning Briefing with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle

Ann Marie BuerkleJoin AmCham members and guests to learn about the latest developments at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), programs to guarantee product safety for U.S. consumers.

When:Mon, May 12, 8:30am – 10:30am
Where:to be informed

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ASEAN Harmonization in the Food Sector

ASEAN and the agro-food industry38% of ASEAN’s 620 million population, or 235 million, is involved in the agriculture and food sector. This is the largest employment sector for ASEAN. As the majority of ASEAN countries rely heavily on the sector for growth, trade, investment and employment, free flow of agriculture and food products within ASEAN becomes a necessity. There is enormous potential for intra-ASEAN trade  if ASEAN is able to achieve harmonization of standards and is able to eliminate the most significant technical barriers in the sector. Read more

U.S. Farm Bill will impact Vietnam’s catfish exports

Vietnam catfishThe law tasks USDA with inspecting catfish, instead of the FDA, which has long been responsible. The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep), said the law would not immediately affect Vietnam’s tra shipments, but might next year. Vietnamese Embassy commercial counselor in the U.S. said that it would take Vietnam 5-7 years to upgrade the production and processing process to have its quality equivalent to that of U.S. farming, production and processing facilities in compliance with the new farm bill.

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Vietnam catfish: a major crop in the Mekong Delta

SGS Safe Quality Food Inspection ProgramThe fish raising areas total over 5,000ha. In 2001 the Tra output in the entire Delta was only 100,000 tonnes. The number increased to over 1,000,000 tones in 2009, yielding a turnover of 1.4 billion USD. With advanced method, many farms have received the SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certification from SGS based on training in Good Agricultural Practices, which are developed by the  Global GAP  a non-governmental organization that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe.

Nguyen Huu Nguyen, one of many Tra farmers in An Giang Province has been awarded the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certificate by SGS, the international quality inspection firm.

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WTO Ministerial “Bali Package,” Dec 2013

Impression“The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which is the key element of the “Bali Package,” and part of the “Doha Package,” would simplify and harmonize dozens of administrative procedures and standards that dictate how goods cross borders or are handled in customs. It would drastically cut red tape that consumes precious resources for governments and companies, while slowing down supply chains, creating opportunities for corruption and increasing the cost of goods by an estimated 5 to 15 per cent.” – Victor Fung Read more

Shoes, shirts, and sugar: why Singapore trade talks matter (TPP)

garment coverSINGAPORE — Your GAP shirts and Nike shoes might get cheaper, but the jobs of the 1,350 U.S. employees of Boston-based sneaker-maker New Balance could be in trouble. Detroit automakers might get to sell more cars and trucks into Japan, but the U.S. manufacturers of the fabric used in those vehicles could be out of work. These are among the dozens of tradeoffs in play as officials from the United States and 11 other countries descend on Singapore this weekend to negotiate what would be the largest trade deal in world history — potentially 1.5 times the size of NAFTA and worth as much as $124 billion in new U.S. exports by 2025.

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