Seafood exporters slam red tape

business May 16, 2017 01:00

By VIET NAM NEWS
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
HANOI

THE VIETNAMESE government will likely ease the requirement for seafood enterprises to submit declarations of conformity with food safety regulations, officials said at a conference on Saturday.



The conference was held by the ministries of Health, Industry and Trade and the Natural Resources and Environment, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and local seafood companies. 

It was designed to resolve issues rising from the implementation of an April 2012 decree on the Food Safety Law for food producers in Vietnam.

At the conference, VASEP proposed the Government remove the requirement on declaration of conformity with technical and food safety regulations as it takes seafood firms 15 days to complete the required procedure, which is too long and costly.

In addition, the requirement is not included in the Food Safety Law, therefore, the firms should not have to comply with it, VASEP said.

Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quc Cung said VASEP’s request is reasonable as the Food Safety Law only requires seafood firms to declare whether their products meet the technical standards or not.

Cung said that the ministry would try to amend the regulation within two or three months to meet the demand of VASEP and seafood firms, as well as the Food Safety Law.

At the conference, VASEP also proposed the Government cut down the number of procedures for food safety declarations from seafood firms and the time they spend checking those documents.

The association added that the Government should reduce the number of working days to three from the current 15 which Government agencies spend on checking documents, and inspecting and certifying the quality of seafood products, so that local firms can save cost, time and efforts.