Procedures for Declaring the Quality, Safety and Hygiene of Imported Food
According to the provisions of the 2010 Food Safety Law, food, food additives, food processing aids, tools, packaging materials, and food containers imported into Vietnam must comply with the corresponding conditions as with domestic products. Besides, they must also meet conditions such as: state inspection on food safety; Consular legalization of documents in product registration dossiers, etc…
Conditions for registering product declaration for imported products:
- Has registered a declaration of conformity with a competent state agency before importing and received a “Notification of results confirming that food meets import requirements” for each shipment.
- Must be state inspected for food safety.
Related legal documents:
- Food Safety Law 2010
- Decision 15/2018/ND-CP guiding the Law on Food Safety
- Decision 155/2018/ND-CP amending regulations related to business investment conditions under the state management of the Ministry of Health
Organizations and individuals producing and trading food must register a product declaration for the following products:
- Health protection foods, medical nutritional foods, foods for special diets.
- Nutritional products for children under 36 months old.
- Mixed food additives with new uses, food additives that are not on the list of additives allowed to be used in food/ are not intended for use by the Ministry of Health.
Application for registration of product declaration for imported products:
- Product announcement as prescribed in Form No. 02
- Certificate of Free Sale/Certificate of Exportation/Health Certificate issued by the competent authority of the country of origin/export. Content ensures safety for users/can be sold freely in the market of the producing/exporting country (must be legalized at respective Consulate General).
- Original/copy (authenticated):
- Food safety testing result slip (within 12 months from the date of application) issued by the designated testing laboratory/testing laboratory in accordance with the safety criteria issued by the Ministry of Health/the safety indicators according to corresponding regulations and standards announced by organizations and individuals in cases there are no regulations from the Ministry of Health.
- Scientific evidence proving the use of the product/ingredient that creates the announced use (confirmed by the organization or individual) When using evidence to make use of the product, the dosage used daily product must be at least greater than or equal to 15% of the usage amount of that ingredient stated in the document.
- Certificate of establishment meeting food safety conditions meeting the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices/equivalent certification with confirmation from an organization or individual (in case the product is a health protection food, applicable from July 1, 2019).
Note: Documents in the registration application must be presented in Vietnamese/translated into Vietnamese and notarized.
Procedures for registering a product announcement:
- Organizations and individuals producing and trading food submit application for product declaration registration via the online public service system/by post/directly to the agencies receiving the application:
- Submitted to the Ministry of Health: For health protection foods, mixed food additives with new uses, food additives not yet on the list of additives allowed to be used in food issued by the Minister of Health. international regulations
- Submit to the competent authority designated by the Provincial People’s Committee: for medical nutritional foods, foods for special diets, nutritional products for children up to 36 months old.
- Within 07 working days from receipt of complete dossier (21 days for health protection foods), the receiving agency will evaluate the dossier and issue a Certificate of Receipt of product declaration registration. In case of disagreement with the dossier or if there is a request for amendment or supplementation, the receiving agency will issue a written notice clearly stating the reason and legal basis of the request.
- The agency receiving the declaration registration application will publicize the names and products of the organization or individual that has received the product declaration registration on its website and food safety database.
Note: In case the product has a change in product name, origin, or composition, the organization or individual must re-announce the product. If there are other changes, written notification of the changed content must be notified to the dossier-receiving agency according to regulations.
Requirements for imported terrestrial animal products, aquatic animal products, and plant products used as food:
- It must be originated from a country or territory with a food safety control system that adapting Vietnamese regulations and named in the list of registered countries and territories by a competent Vietnamese agency exporting food of animal, plant and aquatic origin to Vietnam;
- For terrestrial animal products, aquatic animal products used for food: Must be produced by production and business establishments recognized by competent Vietnamese agencies that fully meet the requirements according to regulations.
- Each batch of imported goods originating from animals or imported aquatic products must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance with food safety regulations issued by the competent authority of the exporting country (except in the case of foreign fishing vessels caring out fishing, processing at sea and then selling directly to Vietnam).
Some cases are exempt from state inspection of imported food safety (unless there is a food safety warning):
- The product has the Certificate of Receipt of product declaration registration.
- Products carried by people entering the country, sent before/after the trip of people entering the country to serve daily needs or trip purposes; Gifts and gifts within the import tax exemption limit according to regulations.
- Imported products for personal use owning by a person entitled to diplomatic privileges.
- Products in transit, transshipment, temporary import, re-export, and bonded warehouses.
- The product is a test/ sample with a quantity suitable for testing/research purposes with confirmation from an organization or individual.
- Products used for display at fairs and exhibitions.
- Products and raw materials produced and imported are only used to produce and process export goods/ serve the internal production of organizations / individuals which are not consumed in the domestic market.
- Products temporarily imported for sale at duty-free shops.
An Luat Vietnam specializes in providing product/food declaration registration services, consulting on documents, and procedures for self-declaration of products according to regulations. We could help customers prepare all necessary documents to complete these procedures in a quick and reasonable time.