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

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

Mekong Delta urged to reform plans to attract more investors

Mekong Delta urged to reformYasuzumi Hirotaka, JETRO CEO, said that he had taken part in many conferences about the issue, but nothing changed in reality. Although the Delta has abundant marine products, cheap labour and land-use costs, its marine industry was not advanced technologically, and its market and customer base are poorly developed. In addition, the low quality of infrastructure and services at industrial parks, the lack of local parts and materials, and poor transportation remained challenges in the area. 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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Free Seminar – CPSIA, REACH Testing Latest Update

Intertek-Vietnam-Ltd1Intertek Vietnam takes great pleasure in inviting you to the seminar of “Latest updates on CPSIA & REACH regulations 2013”.

To avoid being found non-compliant with CPSIA and REACH, it is advisable to ensure that your staff and suppliers are more familiar with these regulations and its application in your industry and to your products. CPSIA => U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

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Fast and Flawed Inspections of Factories Abroad

NYT- Fast and Flawed Inspections of Factories AbroadAs Western companies overwhelmingly turn to low-wage countries far away from corporate headquarters to produce cheap apparel, electronics and other goods, factory inspections have become a vital link in the supply chain of overseas production.

An extensive examination by The New York Times reveals how the inspection system intended to protect workers and ensure manufacturing quality is riddled with flaws. Read more

Shoppers face tough choices over Bangladesh

Made in Bangladesh

It is hard for American shoppers to avoid buying clothes made in unsafe factories abroad, because just about all, or 98%, of clothes sold in the U.S. are made overseas. Also, companies don’t tell consumers if any of their suppliers violate safety standards.

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New U.S. Testing and Certification Rule Effective Feb 8, 2013

Please click this link to view and download the presentation.

All children’s products (textiles, toys, footwear, etc.) manufactured after February 8, 2013 and exported to the U.S. will need to be accompanied by a detailed, sophisticated technical file far beyond the Certificates of Conformity and Test Reports expected today. U.S. importers are allowed by law to rely upon technical files provided by overseas manufacturers. As history has shown, the responsibility for the preparation of these technical files will be pushed upstream by U.S. importers, brands and retailers to manufacturers. Former CPSC Chief of Staff and current Intertek Regional Senior VP, Joe Mohorovic, will describe the forthcoming requirements, provide practical advice for compliance, cost-effective solutions and impart insight into future requirements.

Agenda

08:00 .Registration and Refreshments
08:30Welcome and Introduction
08:35Presentation by Mr. Joseph P. Mohorovic, followed by Q&A
11:00Event Ends

Cost

vnd 450,000/member, vnd 550,000/non-member

About the speaker

Joseph P. Mohorovic IntertekJoseph P. Mohorovic is Regional Senior Vice President of Intertek’s Consumer Goods division located in Oak Brook, IL. He joined Intertek in June of 2007 as a member of the senior management team responsible for all aspects of performance, growth and strategic management in the North American region. Leveraging his experience as a former state legislator and senior regulatory executive in the federal government, Mohorovic helps Intertek’s top retail and manufacturing clients navigate the changing regulatory environment for consumer goods.

Prior to joining Intertek, Mohorovic was a member of the U.S. federal government’s Senior Executive Service at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He served various roles reporting directly to the Chairman including Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of International Programs. Mohorovic oversaw and coordinated CPSC’s international and intergovernmental efforts with respect to harmonization of consumer product safety standards development, inspection and enforcement coordination. He negotiated twelve Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with major trading partners such as China, Japan, Mexico, India, Korea and the European Union. These MOUs provide the basis for improved compliance with U.S. safety standards, including both mandatory and relevant consensus voluntary standards.

Read more about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008

In 2007, a string of product recalls involving toothpaste, tires, and pet food containing contaminated ingredients from China caused U.S. consumers to question the safety of imported products, especially from China. Public confidence in federal oversight of imports sank further in June when toymaker RC2 recalled Thomas and Friends toys for having lead paint, a toxic substance that most people thought had been banished from toys in the 1970s.

Mattel recalled more than 20 million products, including Barbie, Elmo and Dora toys, because they were coated in lead or contained small, dangerous magnets.

In response, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved, and the President signed legislation with far-reaching changes to the U.S. product safety system, with provisions that would require retailers and manufacturers to be more vigilant about product safety.

The biggest change is likely to be a better-staffed Consumer Product Safety Commission, with more enforcement power. Both bills would boost funding for the agency and increase employees, which are less than 400, fewer than half the number it had in 1980.

About the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $ 800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

How diethylene glycol was discovered in toothpaste made in China
Setting off a worldwide hunt for tainted toothpaste that turned out to be manufactured in China. Health alerts have now been issued in 34 countries, from Vietnam to Kenya, from Tonga in the Pacific to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. Canada found 24 contaminated brands and New Zealand found 16. Japan had 20 million tubes. Officials in the United States unwittingly gave the toothpaste to prisoners, the mentally disabled and troubled youths. Hospitals gave it to the sick, while high-end hotels gave it to the wealthy.

Mattel recalls millions of toys made in China
“If Mattel, with all of its emphasis on quality and testing, found such a widespread problem, what do you think is happening in the rest of the toy industry, in the apparel industry and even in the low-end electronics industry?” said S. Prakash Sethi, a professor at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York, who has acted as an independent monitor of working conditions in Mattel’s factories for the last 10 years. “Everyone is going to be found with lots of dirty laundry.”

U.S. Interagency Working Group on Import Safety to Hold Public Meeting Formed in response to the concerns about health and safety problems related to imports of pet food, tooth paste, and toys from China.

U.S. Import Safety Working Group Points to Technology and Manufacturing Quality The group’s strategic plan will include measures to improve safety by boosting manufacturing quality, using technology to inspect more goods at ports rather than in faraway labs and ensuring that exporting countries understand U.S. safety standards.

New Consumer Products Safety Legislation in the U.S. Exporting consumer products to the USA? The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) overses the safety of 15,000 consumer products, including toys. Learn about the new CPSC Reform Act, designed to rebuild and reinvigorate the agency after shortcomings were highlighted by recalls of many products made in China. The new legislation will empower the agency to better protect consumers and their families from unsafe products and meet the challenges of today’s economy. Key elements of the legislation emphasize resources, product testing, disclosure and accountability.

U.S. Senate strengthens Consumer Product Safety Agency Starting in March 2007, a string of recalls involving toothpaste, tires and pet food containing contaminated ingredients from China caused U.S. consumers to question product safety. Public confidence in federal oversight of imports sank further in June when toymaker RC2 recalled Thomas and Friends toys for having lead paint, a toxic substance that most people thought had been banished from toys in the 1970s. In September Mattel recalled more than 20 million products, including Barbie, Elmo and Dora toys, because they were coated in lead or contained small, dangerous magnets.

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Posted: Sep 13, 2012. Updated: Feb 3, 2013.

Wal-Mart’s 15 Questions

The first step in the creation of a sustainable product index will be a survey of Wal-Mart’s 100,000 global suppliers. The survey is divided into four areas: energy and climate, material efficiency, natural resources and people and community. Following are the questions, which top-tier suppliers are being asked to answer by Oct. 1, 2009.

Energy and Climate

1. Have you measured your corporate greenhouse gas emissions?

2. Have you opted to report your greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project?

3. What is your total annual greenhouse gas emissions reported in the most recent year measured?

4. Have you set publicly available greenhouse gas reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?

Material Efficiency

1. If measured, please report the total amount of solid waste generated from the facilities that produce your product(s) for Wal-Mart for the most recent year measured.

2. Have you set publicly available solid waste reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?

3. If measured, please report total water use from facilities that produce your product(s) for Wal-Mart for the most recent year measured.

4. Have you set publicly available water use reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?

Natural Resources

1. Have you established publicly available sustainability purchasing guidelines for your direct suppliers that address issues such as environmental compliance, employment practices and product/ingredient safety?

2. Have you obtained third-party certifications for any of the products that you sell to Wal-Mart?

People and Community

1. Do you know the location of 100% of the facilities that produce your product(s)?

2. Before beginning a business relationship with a manufacturing facility, do you evaluate the quality of, and capacity for, production?

3. Do you have a process for managing social compliance at the manufacturing level?

4. Do you work with your supply base to resolve issues found during social compliance evaluations and also document specific corrections and improvements?

5. Do you invest in community development activities in the markets you source from and/or operate within?