Fine for food safety violations may be seven times higher than the value of goods

VCN- Decree No. 15/2018 / ND-CP dated 2nd February 2018 of the Government on food safety with many reforms in food safety management and inspection for imported goods. Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Standing Member of the Central Inter-Agency Steering Committee on Food Hygiene and Safety, gave answers to the press on the implementation of this Decree.
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fine for food safety violations may be seven times higher than the value of goods

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long

Decree No. 15 decides to switch over from tightened inspection to regular inspection and to reduced inspection after the results of 03 consecutive tightened inspections are satisfactory. In the context where there are many enterprises that do not currently comply with the law. Does this causes anxiety or disadvantage for the management agency, sir?

The 3 consecutive inspections do not mean that the competent agencies have ended the inspections. Actually, this is the conversion of the inspection method from tightened inspection to regular inspection and reduced inspection. Reduced inspection is probability inspection, random inspection means that document inspection of up to 5% of the shipments within 01 year is randomly chosen by the customs authority.

Besides, another inspection method is "post- clearance audit". Currently, a inspection plan of imported goods sold on the market is being developed. At present, the Ministry of Health is directing the development of a decree on the handling of administrative violations on food safety, raising the fine level to create deterrence and ensure lawful compliance. The Ministry is also approved by the business community on conducting post-clearance audit and strictly handles food safety violations.

How is the funds used for inspection and examination in order to ensure the goal of all items subject to post clearance audit, sir?

Decree 15 clarifies the management responsibilities of all levels, branches and People's Committees at all levels in ensuring food hygiene and safety. Accordingly, people's committees at all levels must ensure the fund for the purposes of inspection, examination and handling of violations. In addition, the Ministry of Health has carried out pilot inspection at the district level; commune/ward level in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. At present, the inspection is only carried out at provincial and municipal level (under the Inspection Law).

In the coming time, the pilot inspection will be expanded to 7 more provinces and cities in the need of food consumption, especially in large cities. Thus, the inspection is possible to be implemented at all levels, promoting the results of the previous pilot implementation.

At the same time, people's committees at all levels must also ensure funds for the inspection and handling of violations. In the pilot inspection, 100% of the fine will be used for inspection and examination purposes.

In other countries, the inspection force has the authority to close down restaurants and manufacturing establishments that have serious food safety violations.

What are the level of penalties for food safety violations for enterprises of first time violation, second time violation and many violations, sir?

The administrative fine level for food safety violations is very high, up to VND 200 million , even 7 times higher than the value of goods.

Recently, the Ministry of Health has fined up to VND 7 billion. Enterprise subject to the fine shall discredit it products.

The process of inspection, examination and handling of violations must be transparent, and all violators made public. The Ministry of Health is developing National Database on Food Hygiene and Safety so that people can search products; the management agencies can list the number of registered enterprises and registered products for circulation in the locality and enterprises can make product self-announcement to the State management agencies.

fine for food safety violations may be seven times higher than the value of goods Decree 15 on Food safety still faces with obstacle in implementing

VCN- The Government’s Decree 15/2018 / ND-CP dated 2nd February 2018 on food safety, was issued with many ...

It is expected that the National Database on Food Hygiene and Safety Database will be launched in June 2018.

By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang

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