Changes in the fight against bad cosmetics and functional foods


Tens of thousands of cosmetic boxes were seized by the Binh Dinh market management force in November 2022.
Tens of thousands of cosmetic boxes were seized by the Binh Dinh market management force in November 2022.

Detecting and handling 3,527 violations

In 2022, through the implementation of Directive No. 17/CT-TTg dated June 19, 2018, on strengthening the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, production and trading of counterfeit and poor-quality goods belonging to the group of pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, functional foods, medicinal herbs and traditional medicine, the national functional forces detected and handled 3,527 violations (down 567 cases, down 13% over the same period last year) on goods trading, commercial fraud and counterfeit goods such as pharmaceuticals (1,009 cases), cosmetics (1,618 cases), functional foods (822 cases), and traditional medicine.

Through handling, functional forces have sanctioned administrative violations in 3,510 cases, collected and paid VND 49.31 billion to the state budget, and prosecuted 17 cases/35 subjects. Simultaneously, applying additional sanctions, which is stripping the right to use pharmacy practice certificates and suspending business activities for 6 cases of violations on the export of special control drugs; issuing 11 documents to recall drugs in violation of quality, issuing official letters to suspend circulation nationwide 41 cosmetic products that did not meet quality standards; suspended operation of 133 domain names “.vn”, revoked 4 domain names.

According to the assessment of the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee 389, the fight against smuggling, production and trading of counterfeit goods, poor-quality goods and infringing goods on the group of pharmaceutical, cosmetic and functional products, and ingredients of traditional medicine have changed markedly since the Prime Minister issued Directive No. 17/CT-TTg.

That is, the perception in the business community, legal business organizations, and individuals about brand protection and responsibility to fight against counterfeiting and poor quality goods for this group of products has more positive changes than before.

The number of violations detected and handled decreased the next year significantly compared with the previous year, especially when there was no public display of fake and poor-quality cosmetics and functional foods in the markets, streets, and portable shops as before.

The trading of fake goods and poor-quality goods in cyberspace has been gradually controlled and handled effectively.

However, the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee 389 acknowledged that the observance of the information and reporting regime of some ministries, branches and localities have not been serious; there are still some ministries and branches which don’t make periodic reports. Moreover, the coordination between sectors, functional forces and localities is not regular and continuous, especially in sharing information and dealing with violations.

Through the struggle, the functional forces pointed out several difficulties, such as the violation of health food advertising is still common in the online environment, youtube channels; Facebook; zalo, an electronic information site with domain names from abroad. In addition, the trend of smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting has gradually shifted from transporting goods through trails, and openings, exchanging goods by border residents, and directly delivering goods to establishing a company, using modern technology, indirect delivery.

Improve the efficiency of quality control capacity

Recently, the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee 389 has proposed to the Head of the National Steering Committee of 389 and the Deputy Prime Minister to consider and direct the ministries and branches that are members of the National Steering Committee of 389 and the People’s Committees of the provinces, municipalities, based on the assigned tasks in the Directive, continue to lead, direct and concentrate forces, means and measures to organize the effective implementation of Directive 17; Directing the Steering Committee 389 that ministries, branches, localities and functional forces properly assess the results of the implementation of the Directive, proactively forecast the situation, propose key solutions shortly. Then, the next time, continue to review and handle difficulties and obstacles, strengthen inter-sectoral coordination, inspect, examine, fight, and thoroughly handle violations of the group of regulated items of Directive 17; pay attention to the inspection and examination of public services, doing well the organization of personnel not to assist, link and protect for all smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting activities.

The Standing Office of the Steering Committee 389 also proposed that the Deputy Prime Minister assign the Ministry of Health to assume the prime responsibility for coordinating with relevant ministries and branches to focus on researching and continuing to handle difficulties and problems: Continue to review and advise to correct, supplement, promulgate, replace, step by step perfect relevant legal policies, ensure the synchronization, rigour, comprehensiveness, and convenience for state management of the product groups that care and improve human health.

Improve the operational efficiency of the state testing system and quality inspection facilities, especially the group of regulated items of Directive 17, effectively use resources both in terms of technical staff technology, equipment and funding sources are arranged to ensure; proactively promote the inspection, examination and supervision of the quality of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, functional foods, herbs and traditional medicine, detecting and promptly handling all violations. Coordinating sectors and special functional forces with industry associations and businesses, organizing conferences and seminars, promptly giving recommendations and identifying signs for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, functional foods, medicinal herbs and traditional medicine.

The Ministry of Information and Communications directs the system of radio and newspapers to coordinate with functional agencies to increase the duration and volume to promote the dissemination of knowledge and propagate policies and laws related to the group of regulated items in the Directive. 17; direct functional units to closely monitor and manage advertising activities of advertising issuers, especially for functional foods, cosmetics, medicinal herbs and traditional medicine; Research and control telephone switchboards set up to pretend to be doctors and pharmacists to advise and sell fake and bad products online. Evaluate and analyze the situation, make a close forecast, and propose solutions to thoroughly handle violations of electronic information sites and personal pages on social networks.


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