Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long: "Avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licences”

VCN - That was the answer given by the Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long after listening to reflections by Hai Phong Customs Department on problems related to the implementation of Decree No. 15 guiding some articles of the Law on Safety food.
deputy minister of health nguyen thanh long avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licences Many new points in the management of food safety
deputy minister of health nguyen thanh long avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licences The Government issue specific regulations on using public properties
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deputy minister of health nguyen thanh long avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licences

The meeting of the Minister of Health’s working group at Hai Phong Customs Department. Photo: Q. H

On the morning of 14th March 2018, in Hai Phong, the Ministry of Health’s working group, lead by the Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Member of the Central Inter-sectoral Steering Committee on Food Hygiene and Safety, has inspected the implementation of Decree No. 15/2018 / ND-CP (replacing Decree No. 38/2012 / ND-CP guiding some articles of the Law on Food Safety issued by the Government and effectivefrom 2nd February 2018) at Hai Phong Customs Department.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long emphasized that Decree 15 was a revolution in food safety management, fundamentally changed the management method from pre-inspection to post-inspection risk management. This management approach is applied by all countries in the world and regions such as the US, Thailand and Singapore.

Thus, Decree 15 removes troublesome administrative procedures for enterprises, creates anengine for development and enhances the responsibility of the business community on food hygiene and safety management.

Changes in administrative procedures will save labor costs. According to calculations, more than 7 million working days and more than VND 3,000 billion will be saved. Administrative procedures are estimated to reduce from 90 to 95 %. Particularly, procedure on State inspection of imported food will decrease by 95%.

Decree 15 is introduced and effective immediately from date of signing for promulgation with sudden changes, so it confuses competent authorities in the implementation.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Health have closely guided the implementation of Decree 15.

At the meeting, representatives of Hai Phong Customs Department have reflected some problems arising from the practical activities at the unit such as it was necessary to guide the application ofreduced inspection method for shipments and goods stipulated in Clause 1, Article 17 of Decree No. 15/2018 / ND-CP. Point b Clause 1 of Article 19 of Decree No. 15/2018 / ND-CP stipulates that“The Customs authority is responsible for random selection of 5% of the total number of imported shipments subject to the reduced inspection within 01 year for document examination in accordance with regulation”. However, the local customs units have not been guided on the random selection of 5% of the total number of shipments subject to the reduced inspection within 1 year for document examination.

On the other hand, Clause 3 of Article 14 of Decree 15/2018 provides that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall provide the Customs authorities with the list of countries and exporters allowed to export the aforementioned products to Vietnam. But now, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has not been provided the above list to the Customs authorities.

Answering the problems of Hai Phong Customs, the Deputy Minister of Health indicated that the method of self-announcement was completely new and there were no certification in the self- announcement process. When a business registers a product, it must publicize the product and may post it publicly at its headquarters and be entitled to production immediately. At the same time, enterprises shall have to send one copy to the competent State management agency for inspection and examination but not for goods circulation.

Decree 15 clearly stipulates that enterprises send their self-announcement to the competent State authorities designated by the province or city (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Industry and Trade and Department of Health., etc) .

The Ministry of Health is developing national data on food hygiene and safety in order to make it convenient for search of manufacturing units, products as well as inspection, examination and strict handling of violations.

Regarding the problem on State inspection on imported and exported foods, Article 13 of Decree 15 has expanded the subjects of exemption from State inspection of imported food safety (9 points), except for cases of warning about food safety. Currently, products are granted a certificate of product announcement registration (formerly was certificate of conformity for a definite period) for an indefinite period, allowing the product circulation throughout the life of the product.

Besides, the inspection is exempted for products and raw materials imported for only export production and processing or for internal production of organizations and individuals and not for consumption in the home market and in accordance with the commitments on raw materials for production of products. However, the importers are not allowed to sell those materials to the market.

The Deputy Minister of Health said that "Avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licenses”. According to the previous regulations, each product must have a registration certificate issued by a competent authority when circulating on the market. But now, each product in circulation only needs a self-announcement document of quality issued by the enterprise (and the enterprise is responsible for this document) or the certificate issued by a State agency.

Article 14 of Decree 15 also stipulates requirements for products of terrestrial animals, products of aquatic animals and plant products used as imported food. This plays an important role in protecting the domestic agricultural production. In the trading process, countries often set technical barriers, each country wanting to export pangasius to Vietnam must be a certified exporting country by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Specifically, Clause 3, Article 14 of Decree 15 also regulates that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall provide the customs office with a list of countries and territories and organizations and individuals that are permitted to export the product into Vietnam.

deputy minister of health nguyen thanh long avoid the situation that a cake is subject to 13 licences Customs officers deal with problems related to Decree 15 on food safety

VCN- Related to the fact that the media cited information at a public meeting on Government Decree ...

Article 15 of Decree 15 also stipulates the State inspection agencies for imported food (which is appointed or designated by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or the Ministry of Industry and Trade). It means that the appointed State inspection agencies for food safety must notify the Customs authority (in additional case)

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long praised the General Department of Customs and the provincial and city Customs Departments for their drastic measures in implementing Decree 15, because this is a new task and there is a lack of specialized knowledge of food safety. This big change is to hand over to the customs authority to be in charge of document examination. Especially, the process of implementation has shown many obstacles and proposed solutions to remove.
By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang

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