General Department of Vietnam Customs responded to Ho Chi Minh City Customs about 22 000 cans of milk

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VCN – The General Department of Vietnam Customs said that, according to the provisions of Article 13 of Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP of the Government dated February 2, 2018 stipulating the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Food Safety, aid is not exempt from food safety inspection. However, the General Department of Vietnam Customs allows the goods to be taken back for preservation as requested in order to facilitate customs.

5013 4918 IMG 9338 - General Department of Vietnam Customs responded to Ho Chi Minh City Customs about 22 000 cans of milk
Tan Son Nhat Customs officers process procedures for imported goods. Photo: T.H

Responding to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department about the problems with food safety inspection procedures for aid, the General Department of Vietnam Customs said that according to the presentation and documents attached to the dispatch, the shipment of nutritional products for children up to 36 months old of Australian expatriates and Nutrico Dairy Company (Australian nationality) donated to the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City to serve the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic and non-project aid provided by foreign countries for Vietnam.

Citing the provisions of Article 13 of Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP of the Government dated February 2, 2018 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Food Safety, aid is not exempt from food safety inspection.

Therefore, the General Department of Vietnam Customs requested Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department to discuss and report to the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to implement the guidance in point 2 of Official Letter No. 2055/ATTP KN dated November 1, 2021 of the Food Safety Department under the Ministry of Health, for shipments of aid such as nutritional products for children up to 36 months old.

Pending the opinion of the competent authority on the inspection of food safety for the shipment, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department allowed the customs declarant to take goods back for preservation at the request of the customs declarant and comply with current regulations.

Earlier, at the 2nd session of the 15th National Assembly, delegate To Thi Bich Chau (from Ho Chi Minh City) gave an example of a shipment of 22,000 cans of milk donated by Australian expatriates for disadvantaged children during the Covid-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City, which had been returned to HCM City for a month but was still “blocked”.

Mrs. To Thi Bich Chau said that at that time, the Ho Chi Minh City Fatherland Front consulted the Food Safety Department (Ministry of Health) and the Department of Animal Health (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development). While the Department of Animal Health responded in just two days to agree, while the Department of Food Safety asked Ho Chi Minh City to consult with the Government.

“We sent an official dispatch to the Government and the Food Safety Department is assigned to reply, so why not advise and state your opinion?” Mrs. Chau said and emphasized the Food Safety Department’s approach was correct, but did not follow the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”.

Since then, the female delegate hoped that the Government would create a really open administrative mechanism, assigning the responsibility of each ministry, sectors and each officer in giving advice.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy

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