VCN – How will obstacles in food safety inspection be removed in the draft Decree on the management mechanism, methods, order and procedures for quality inspection and food safety inspection for imports to implement the Government’s Decision 38? Customs News spoke to Deputy Director of the Customs Supervision and Control Department Dao Duy Tam about this matter.
|Deputy Director of the Customs Supervision and Control Department Dao Duy Tam|
Over 22,000 cans of milk donated by compatriots in Australia for disadvantaged children amid the Covid-19 pandemic in HCM City have been cleared after more than a month of food safety inspection procedures. Could you please tell us about the process of customs clearance for this shipment?
Complying with the direction of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) in Official Letter 5315 dated November 9, 2021, HCM City Customs Department has worked with the HCM city Fatherland Front Committee on procedures related to the shipment and bring goods to the warehouse for perseveration while waiting for the implementation of food safety inspection procedures for customs clearance.
After the Vietnam Food Administration under the Ministry of Health issued Official Letter 2178 on the announcement of inspection results on meeting current standards for the shipment, the Committee registered the declaration for the shipment at 11am on November 15. The shipment was cleared in accordance with Decree 15/2018/ND-CP.
Could you tell us some shortcomings that need to be revised to facilitate food safety inspection?
The imported milk is subject to specialized management by the Ministry of Health, so that when carrying out procedures, the customs will base on the receipt of the product announcement issued by the Ministry of Health to clear goods. However, some problems have arisen, prolonging the customs clearance time.
Article 13 of Decree 15/2018/ND-CP says there are nine cases exempt from food safety inspection. The aid shipment is not subject to be exempted from inspection, except allowance by the Prime Minister for urgent requirements. Articles 6, 7, 8 of the Decree also provide that milk products for children aged 0 to 36 months must go through product announcements.
The importer must register the product announcement at the state agency designated by the Provincial People’s Committee, and submit the receipt of registration certificate of the product announcement issued by this agency to enjoy exemption from the food safety inspection and carry out customs clearance.
The implementation of the procedures for registration of product announcements is required for each enterprise and is not applied to goods with the same type, name, label, production facility, packaging materials that have been previously imported by other enterprises, causing effects on the customs clearance time.
Not only dairy products, but also a number of other items subject to quality inspection and food safety inspection have suffered from the same problem.
The Government issued Decision 38/QD-TTg assigning the Ministry of Finance to develop a Decree on the management mechanism, methods, order and procedures for quality inspection and food safety inspection for imports.
The draft Decree is consulted by Government members before promulgation. According to the decree, the nutritional food, supplementary foods, milk for children under the age of 36 months like the goods imported in HCM City will be subject to management by product. Therefore, before importation, the importer must register the product announcement on the National Single Window Portal and the State Agency will check and grant a receipt of the product announcement with registration code and the importer will use this code to make a customs declaration. For importation of identical items, for following imports, the importer does not have to register the product announcement and use the granted code to implement customs procedures.
If the milk shipment has been granted a registration code, the importer will not have to face the same problems.
Could you tell us about the development of the decree?
The Decree aims to facilitate enterprises when carrying out specialized inspection, especially quality inspection quality and food safety inspection. The Customs authority also builds the decree towards fully applying information technology in implementing customs procedures and other procedures on the National Single Window. The management agency will return the results on the NSW. In addition, applying risk management mechanism and inspection by item instead of by business.
Although the draft Decree stipulates many reform and facilitation contents for enterprises, some ministries and government agencies still disagree with the draft Decree. The GDVC have explained and consulted the Government’s members about these contents.
By Ngoc Linh/Ngoc Loan