Gardeners and packers need to carefully study the provisions of the Protocol and the guidelines of the Plant Protection Department. Photo: Internet
To implement the contents of the Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for durian fruits exported from Vietnam to China, from August 12, the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) appointed 25 inspectors to inspect online 29 packing facilities and 104 durian growing areas in 17 provinces of Vietnam. The testing process is expected to last for 3 weeks but it may be changed depending on the actual situation.
|The Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for durians exported from Vietnam to China took effect from 11 July. Thus, Vietnamese durian is officially exported to the Chinese market. Vietnam became the second country after Thailand to have official market access for fresh durian, a high-value imported fruit in China.|
According to the Plant Protection Department (MARD), as of August 17, GACC has inspected 55 durian packing facilities and growing areas in Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, Deputy Director of the Plant Protection Department said that in three weeks, GACC will arrange three inspection teams to perform at the same time and at least four enterprises per day will be subjected to checks by each team.
The content of the inspection will focus on compliance with Chinese regulations such as garden pest management measures, packing facilities, farming practices, post-harvest management, farming diaries, document storage, Covid-19 isolation areas.
The results will be announced by the General Administration of Customs of China after the inspection process is over.
“ACC checked very carefully and posed many questions to the growing areas and packing facilities. They even set up new regulations such as in each growing area, the packing facility must have well-trained technical staff,” Ms. Huong said.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, technical officer in charge of orchards of Chanh Thu Company (12 ha durian garden with about 2,400 trees, has exported products to the US, Australia, Japan) in Tan Hung commune, Hon district Quan, Binh Phuoc said: Although it is online, Chinese Customs officers carefully look at each durian root. The garden of Chanh Thu Company is highly appreciated, almost fully meeting the requirements given.
“Due to the proper preparation in advance with well-furnished infrastructure and an available warehouse system, safe and methodical farming process application, almost all gardeners have satisfied the criteria of the Chinese Customs. However, gardeners and packers need to carefully study the provisions of the Protocol and the guidelines of the Plant Protection Department to get ready. The key to success is to do it with real quality,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong
More drastic motivation from locals
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, in order to prepare for the inspection from the Chinese side, in July 2022, the Plant Protection Department sent a written request to localities to review the growing areas and packing facilities.
Also in July 2022, the Department organized two training courses on implementing the Protocol in Dak Lak and Tien Giang with the participation of more than 250 participants, developing a complete set of reference documents about durian for interested organizations and individuals.
Due to China’s very strict regulations, the Plant Protection Department also sent a written request to localities to intervene, requesting to review and work with the Department of Health on regulations on the prevention of Covid-19 in accordance with China’s zero-Covid policy.
“In localities with strong government involvement, the implementation process goes smoothly. For example, in Dak Lak, the province sent documents to localities to join farmers and businesses to build planting areas and packing facilities complying with China’s regulations which can facilitate the evaluation process later on,” Ms. Huong said.
In contrast, the leaders of the Plant Protection Department also stated there are still some localities that have not been closely monitored, and lack grassroots officials to support farmers and packers during the online inspection assessment by China Customs. Many farmers and cooperatives are subjective in the implementation of Chinese Customs regulations.
As the matter of fact, a lot of growing areas and packing facilities initially enthusiastically participated in this assessment, but later withdrew because they were unable to meet the requirements which was a waste of resources. Ms. Huong said: “Locals must be more active, properly assess the reality of the growing area and packing facility, thereby adjusting production to suit the regulations of China. The registration of planting area codes must be based on quality, not quantity. Therefore, only satisfactory ones are recommended to put in the code and check.”
She further noted that China highly values Vietnamese durian so this can be a big deal for high compliance ones.
However, if only one or two shipments are in trouble, businesses are at risk of losing the market. This affects not only durian products but also many other agricultural products, especially eight types of fruits that are undergoing procedures to sign the upcoming Protocol.