ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Imported foods to be strictly controlled in Vietnam
The regulations - embodied in an Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry decree to apply from July 1 - would be based on the International Codex Committee's procedures, said its Quality Control of Agricultural, Forest and Aquatic Produce Department deputy director Phung Huu Hao.
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation introduced the system in 1963 to help develop food standards.
The decree will require countries wanting to export animal food products to register enterprises that meet Viet Nam's food hygiene and safety's standards with Vietnamese Government agencies.
The certificates will have to accompany the goods and only registered enterprises will be allowed to export to the Vietnam market.
Vietnam's inspectors will also check the conditions as well as the food hygiene and safety systems at the exporting enterprises.
All animal products that enter via border gates will be checked regularly during distribution to the markets in addition to the usual on arrival inspections.
The owners of any goods that do not comply with the new regulation's will either have to return them to their country of origin or have them destroyed.
Offending enterprise could have their export licences suspended.
The ministry's farm produce quality control department will have responsibility for implementation of the decree.
The new regulations meant that all products would be carefully controlled during both their production and arrival in Viet Nam and consumers could be expected to favour the proven better-quality goods, said the deputy director.