FAQ on Circulars No. 25/2010/TT-BNNPTNT & No. 29/2010/TT-BNNPTNT
Recently, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) have met representatives of some trade partners (such as USA, Brazil, Australia and Canada..) to clarify the Circular No. 25/2010/TT-BNNPTNT of April 8, 2010 guiding the food hygiene and safety control for imported products of animal origin (Circular 25) and Circular No. 29/2010/TT-BNNPTNT of May 6, 2010 promulgating the lists of food safety criteria and maximum levels thereof in certain domestically-produced or imported foodstuffs of animal origin under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Circular 29). Hereby are some frequently asked questions and answers (Q&A)
1. Concerning Circular 25:
Q1: This Circular applies to all foodstuffs imported to Vietnam or certain foodstuffs?
A: According to the Article 1. 1: This Circular only applies to “imported foodstuffs of animal origin under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development”
The foodstuffs of animal origin under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development include:
- Foodstuffs of terrestrial animal origin: minced, mechanically-separated or prepared livestock meat, poultry meat and edible offal , fresh, chilled or frozen; eggs and egg products and honey.
- Foodstuffs of aquatic animal origin: all types of products.
Q2: Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the list (Appendix 1) are producers or traders (like exporters)?
A: Approved FBOs are producers of final products prior to export to Vietnam. They are producers, not exporters. For example: in case of live crab exported, farming and packing site must be in the approved list; in case of crab meat exported, crab meat processing establishments – FBOs must be in the list and the farming site supplying live crabs to the processing establishment will not be listed.
Q3: Vietnam has any specific requirements on health certificate format issued by competent authorities of exporting countries?
A: No. The health or quarantine certificate format should be stipulated by Competent Authorities of exporting countries and quarantine issues may be included in. The content must include: (1) name of production establishment (listed in Appendix 1 and approved by Vietnam Competent Authority) and (2) the attestations that the prescribed goods are fit for human consumption.
Q4: What are new requirements of inspection procedures at border inspection posts, bonded warehouses and market control?
A: Not any new requirements. The procedures are being conducted in compliance with current regulations in force.
Q5: Do Vietnam Competent Authorities conduct on-site inspections to exporting countries prior to approval for export to Vietnam?
A: Vietnam Competent Authorities will conduct on-site inspections to exporting countries only in case of necessity when:
- Registration documents provided by competent authorities of exporting countries as stipulated in the Article 9 are insufficient and inadequate to prove that food hygiene and safety (FHS) control system and competencies of Competent Authorities of exporting countries and/or FHS conditions of its FBOs meet relevant Vietnamese requirements.
- Several detections of non-compliant products imported from a country (systematic violations…).
Q6: Any time frame for additional approval of FBOs for export to Vietnam?
A: No. Additional FBOs for export to Vietnam will be immediately approved by providing sufficient and adequate registration documents, in compliance with Vietnamese regulations.
Q7: How is the approved list published?
A: The list of approved FBOs for export to Vietnam will be published on NAFIQAD website and also sent to relevant trade partner and Embassies in Vietnam.
Q8: Guides to fill out the form in Appendix 1?
Column 2: Name of FBO;
Column 3: Approval number/code granted to the FBO by Competent Authorities of exporting countries;
Column 4: FBO’s detailed address for mail/postal contact;
Column 5: Name of products that FBO registers for export to Vietnam;
Column 6: Other relevant information (if applicable).
Q9: Guide to fill out the form in Appendix 2?
A: Information provided in Appendix 2 should be brief but sufficient for Vietnam Competent Authorities to access FHS control system and competencies of the Competent Authority of the exporting country, in details:
Item 1: Describe organizational structure of official control system by levels (federal/state levels, central/local levels), including duties and jurisdictions of each level/agency in food hygiene and safety control.
Item 2: Specify number of staffs, their qualifications (number of doctors, engineers…), technical trainings for each qualification.
Item 3: Specify titles of legal texts, technical regulations, inspection and certification procedures
Item 4: Describe inspection procedures applied by the Competent Authority to control the compliance of FBOs to national regulations on food hygiene and safety (monitoring of residues, pathogenic micro-organisms during production).
Item 5: Brief introduction on residues monitoring program, sanitation monitoring program for bivalve mollusk production areas, livestock farms… (if available).
Q10: Guide to fill out the form in Appendix 3?
Item 1: Name of FBO;
Item 2: FBO’s detailed address for mail/postal contact;
Item 4.1: In case of live or fresh products which are only produced in farming areas and then exported, fill in information of farming areas. In case of prepared/processed foodstuffs, fill in information of preparing/processing plants, not farming areas or raw material suppliers.
Item 4.2: In case of live or fresh products which are only produced in farming areas and then exported, fill in information on farming, harvesting and packing methods. In case of processed foodstuffs, fill in information on preparing/processing, packing and storage methods.
Item 4.3: Fill in this item only in case of live or fresh products which are only produced in farming areas and then exported.
Item 5: Brief introduction on applied quality management system, such as HACCP, ISO 9001…
Appendix 3 must be certified by Competent Authority at central or local levels.
2. Circular 29:
Q1: This Circular only applies to imported foodstuffs of animal origin?
A: This Circular applies to not only imported but also domestically-produced foodstuffs of animal origin.
Q2: Which regulation should be referred to for other foodstuffs of animal origin under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development but not covered by this Circular (such as honey)?
A: For the time being, the Decision No. 46/2007/QD-BYT of December 19, 2007 of the Ministry of Health should be referred to.
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