Reform of quality inspection and food safety inspection requires determination to change

VCN - The Ministry of Finance held a meeting with a number of ministries and sectors to discuss issues that still have different opinions in the draft Decree on state management mechanisms on food safety for imported goods. Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi chaired the meeting.
Scene of the meeting. Photo: N.Linh
Scene of the meeting. Photo: N.Linh

22 out of 27 Government members voted to approve the draft

At the meeting, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh said that on January 12, 2021, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 38/QĐ-TTg on management mechanisms, methods, order, and procedures for quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods which assigned the Ministry of Finance to formulate.

More than a year since the first draft was released, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has repeatedly consulted, and held meetings and seminars with ministries, agencies and businesses to revise and complete the draft Decree. The Ministry of Finance has also officially reported and submitted to the Government five times as well as held meetings twice with the Government's Executive Committee. Up to now, the Ministry of Finance has received more than 100 opinions from ministries and sectors, only a few technical issues have not reached an agreement.

According to Deputy Director General Mai Xuan Thanh, compared with the initial draft, the drafting agency has continuously adjusted it many times in the spirit of sticking to the reform contents approved by the Government and receiving reasonable opinions. The notable content is the authorization of Customs as the inspection authority. Accordingly, the inspection agency is still the same agency as the current one, the Customs agency only participates in food safety inspection in accordance with the provisions of Decree 15/2008/ND-CP.

Regarding the time of checking the documents, in the past, the draft Decree stipulated that the time for completing the dossier inspection was two working hours (like the time limit for customs dossier inspection). After consulting ministries and sectors, the Ministry of Finance adjusted the time for completing the dossier inspection to be six working hours (including the official time limit is four working hours + two hours for warning inspection agencies when the official inspection period expires via National Single Window Portal).

Basically, 22 out of 27 Government members voted to approve the draft Decree. However, there are four ministries (Health, Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development) that still have different opinions.

At the meeting, representatives of specialized units from the Ministries of Health, Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development raised different issues.

The comments mainly focused on the implementation roadmap, the authorization of the Customs; the scope of the Decree; regulations on management by commodity item; the use of regulation conformity announcement codes; and the automated updating of results on the National Single Window.

In addition, there were concerns about the overlaps and contradictions with the valid specialized documents that relate to the responsibilities of ministries and sectors in state management of food safety for imported goods; or the adjustment scope of the draft Decree for some groups of goods which were exceeded the scope of Decision No. 38/QD-TTg.

There were also opinions that the provisions in the draft are "breaking" the current management process in return for a 1.02% reduction in administrative procedure costs.

Expressing a point of view on these opinions, the representative of the drafting agency stated that the issue of the customs authority's competence has been received and adjusted in the latest draft following the principle that the inspection agency is still the current agency, the Customs authority only participates in food safety inspection.

The inspection agency does not participate in quality inspection, it only inspects food safety dossiers following the reduced inspection method as prescribed in Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP stipulating the implementation of some articles of the Law on Food Safety. This principle has also received the consensus of the Government’s Executive Committee and the Minister of Justice has voted for approval without any other comments.

At the same time, in Notice No. 360/TB-VPCP of the Government Office on the conclusions of the Government’s Executive Committee at the meeting held on November 21, 2022, it was stated clearly that the Government’s Executive Committee agreed with the adjustment in the draft and affirmed that these adjustments were in line with the policy of reducing time, reducing costs, supporting import-export enterprises complying with the provisions of specialized laws.

The representative of the Government Office attending the meeting said that the drafting of this Decree took a long time, the problems that have been clearly indicated, have been practically tested and a high consensus should be included in the Decree.

Regarding the actual problems that need to be solved, it is necessary to review and determine the contents and scope of the problem to be amended and supplemented.

Furthermore, the implementation should follow the spirit of stepping up decentralization in association with resource allocation, strengthening inspection and examination in accordance with the state management functions and tasks of ministries and sectors; and the responsibility of enterprises operating import and export activities.

Desire to set the "long-term effects" for reform

Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi affirmed that the draft Decree was a difficult document, although it only provided procedures, it posed a great impact on the reform process of many related units. Following the spirit of Decision No. 38/QD-TTg, when formulating the draft, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs want to set out "long-term effects" for the reform of state management on quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods.

The Deputy Minister said that, because of that meaning, we hoped that the ministries and sectors would agree with the policy and carry out reforms together as well as work together to find the most suitable method and process in order to ensure management requirements while performing the reform.

According to the leader of the Ministry of Finance, in the process of receiving and explaining, the drafting agency has tried to harmonize specific regulations with relevant specialized agencies. Therefore, the units also coordinate and participate based on that spirit, with the common goal of supporting the reform policy that the Government has set.

Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi said that it needed to be more flexible in the drafting process. “It is important that in terms of management, in terms of processes, do the proposed regulations work? Is it against the law? If it's okay, can we agree to submit to the Government for making a decision immediately without amending Decision No. 38?", the Deputy Minister said.

Facing the idea that "breaking" the current process, the Deputy Minister said that it was not true and affirmed that in the process of reform and improvement, the terms "breaking" and change were normal.

In particular, the reform of the management process in return for 1.02% of administrative procedure costs was not small. According to the research conducted by Trade Facilitation Project funded by USAID, it was estimated that if applying this draft Decree for one year, the compliance cost of administrative procedures will save approximately VND 1,400 billion. Thereby, the overall saving value for the economy can reach VND 9,285 billion. This was not a small number.

After the meeting, the Deputy Minister requested the General Department of Vietnam Customs to carefully review each piece of content, listen carefully, and objectively evaluate comments to receive and explain the issues raised. Then complete a full copy and send it to units. That will be the basis for the specialized unit to report to the leaders of the specialized management ministries for responding by document or expressing the consensus.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy

Related News

Investing in wages is investing in development

Investing in wages is investing in development

VCN - According to Dr. Bui Sy Loi (photo), senior expert of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, former Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee on Social Affairs, the National Assembly's adoption of the reform policy salaries, resource decisions and salary reform policies on July 1, 2024 is a suitable time, both historical and topical, contributing to ensuring life, creating peace of mind for staff, civil servants, public employees and workers.
Wage reform: there are many things to be done

Wage reform: there are many things to be done

VCN - As one of the major and important policies of the Party and State, wage reform has always received great attention and support from workers. The next salary adjustment from July 1 is not simply a salary increase and income increase, but also a comprehensive reform associated with improving the quality and responsibility of the team of officials and civil servants and at the same time attaching with job positions, associated with strengthening responsibility, discipline, and discipline in staff work.
Imported goods increased, customs clearance was slow at Huu Nghi international border gate

Imported goods increased, customs clearance was slow at Huu Nghi international border gate

VCN - Information from border gates in Lang Son province, in recent days, the number of imported goods and vehicles entering Vietnam through Huu Nghi international border gate has increased, leading to slow customs clearance activities.
Customs processes more than 14 million declarations in a year

Customs processes more than 14 million declarations in a year

VCN - The Customs sector has made many efforts to reform administrative procedures, modernize customs and reduce customs clearance time for goods. In 2013, the Customs sector processed more than 14 million declarations, in particular, the customs clearance time for Green channel declarations was only 1 to 3 seconds.

Latest News

Dong Thap Customs: Proactively guide procedures, reduce customs clearance time for imported and exported goods

Dong Thap Customs: Proactively guide procedures, reduce customs clearance time for imported and exported goods

VCN - One of the key tasks that Dong Thap Customs Department has focused on in recent times is the work of guiding and answering timely procedures for businesses, in which the Professional Department - Dong Thap Customs Department has proactively responded specifically to businesses’ problems.
Piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union

Piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union

VCN - Vietnam has completed phase 1 of piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union.
Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Rapidly handling more than 1,600 billion VND in bad debts

Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Rapidly handling more than 1,600 billion VND in bad debts

VCN - To handle and recover nearly 1,900 billion VND in tax debt, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department directed its under and directly under units to implement many drastic solutions right from the first months of 2024.
Da Nang Customs: Sharing experiences about risk management when making customs settlement report

Da Nang Customs: Sharing experiences about risk management when making customs settlement report

VCN - To support enterprises in improving supply chain risk management capacity, on April 16, Da Nang Customs Department collaborated with Vietnam Industry Supporting Alliance (VISA) and InterLOG to hold a seminar with the topic "Customs Settlement Report" for businesses engaged in processing, export production, and export processing activities.

More News

Lang Son Customs supports warehouse operators

Lang Son Customs supports warehouse operators

VCN – In order to remove difficulties for warehouse operators in Lang Son province, Lang Son Customs Department has worked and dialogued with the operators. Through discussion, enterprises have highly appreciated the great effort by the Customs in resolving problems in customs process.
Praising competent authorities for seizure 100 kg of meth in Quang Tri

Praising competent authorities for seizure 100 kg of meth in Quang Tri

VCN - On the afternoon of April 12, 2024, at the headquarters of Quang Tri Customs Department, the General Department of Customs organized a reward program for collectives and individuals of the Customs, Police, and Border Guard who have achieved outstanding achievements in seizing 100kg of drugs on March 30, 2024.
Heading toward the official implementation of the Voluntary Compliance Program

Heading toward the official implementation of the Voluntary Compliance Program

VCN - Through implementing the Pilot Program on supporting and encouraging businesses to voluntarily comply with customs laws, the compliance level of many member businesses has improved significantly.
Thanh Hoa Seaport Customs improves efficiency from support enterprises

Thanh Hoa Seaport Customs improves efficiency from support enterprises

VCN – Leader of Thanh Hoa Border Gate Customs Branch (Thanh Hoa Customs Department) said that the accompanying businesses and actively supporting procedures not only helps businesses stabilize production but also ensure state management of customs.
Quang Ninh Customs: Flexible solutions to raise revenue

Quang Ninh Customs: Flexible solutions to raise revenue

VCN - In addition to closely following budget revenue developments, Quang Ninh Customs Department flexibly and creatively organizes accompanying activities to support businesses, contributing to attracting and retaining businesses and increasing budget revenue across the province.
Khanh Hoa Customs announce information of 12 enterprises owing over VND65 billion of tax

Khanh Hoa Customs announce information of 12 enterprises owing over VND65 billion of tax

VCN - According to Khanh Hoa Customs Department, through checking and review until March 31, 2024 at the unit, there is 12 enterprises and one individual owing tax debt of over VND65 billion.
Administrative violations at Dong Nai Customs decreased in both the number of cases and fines

Administrative violations at Dong Nai Customs decreased in both the number of cases and fines

VCN - Violations of Customs laws by businesses at Dong Nai Customs Department decreased sharply in both the number of cases and fines, showing that the level of compliance of businesses has increased significantly.
Da Nang Customs: Bring the Customs – Business partnership activities into practice

Da Nang Customs: Bring the Customs – Business partnership activities into practice

VCN - Activities to develop Customs-Business partnerships are implemented by Da Nang Customs Department to transform the content and methods so that business support activities can be put into practice.
Quang Tri builds a management process for imported coal transported by conveyor belts

Quang Tri builds a management process for imported coal transported by conveyor belts

VCN – On January 5, the Government issued Resolution 04/NQ-CP approving the project on construction of conveyor belt to transport coal from Laos to Vietnam across Vietnam-Laos border. This is the legal framework for implementing the investment project on building warehouses, conveyor system, and requiring customs control for imported coal transported by cross-border conveyor implemented in Vietnam for the first time.
Read More

Your care

Latest Most read
Dong Thap Customs: Proactively guide procedures, reduce customs clearance time for imported and exported goods

Dong Thap Customs: Proactively guide procedures, reduce customs clearance time for imported and exported goods

VCN - One of the key tasks that Dong Thap Customs Department has focused on in recent times is the work of guiding and answering timely procedures for businesses, in which the Professional Department - Dong Thap Customs Department has proactively responde
Piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union

Piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union

Vietnam has completed phase 1 of piloting the exchange of export declaration with Eurasian Economic Union.
Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Rapidly handling more than 1,600 billion VND in bad debts

Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Rapidly handling more than 1,600 billion VND in bad debts

VCN - In 2024, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is assigned a state budget revenue estimate of VND 130,800 billion.
Da Nang Customs: Sharing experiences about risk management when making customs settlement report

Da Nang Customs: Sharing experiences about risk management when making customs settlement report

Da Nang Customs Department collaborated with Vietnam Industry Supporting Alliance (VISA) and InterLOG to hold a seminar with the topic "Customs Settlement Report"
Lang Son Customs supports warehouse operators

Lang Son Customs supports warehouse operators

VCN - According to Lang Son Customs Department, the local operators have met regulations in Decree 68/2016/ND-CP amended and supplemented in Decree 67/2020/ND-CP.
Mobile Version