VN to tighten product origin and packaging rules

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A fruit processing plant. Foreign markets, especially high-end markets, demand exporters to strictly follow rules on product packaging as a way to ensure high-quality and safe-to-consume products.— Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is to tighten inspection of local agricultural products and packaging in a response to recent incidents in which products from the Southeast Asian country were reported to show signs of deliberate tampering with registered trademarks and origins, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The ministry said foreign markets, especially high-end markets, demand exporters to strictly follow rules on product packaging as a way to ensure high-quality and safe-to-consume products.

Since the establishment of agricultural product zones and modern packaging facilities in Việt Nam, the country has been able to build a number of relatively well-known brands, which helps boost demand for its products. Exporters and producers have also been working closely together to support farmers in improving the quality of products and tailoring them to the needs of specific consumers.

Tampering with product origin or subpar packaging standards can get Vietnamese products banned from certain markets and hurt the country’s image in international markets.

It’s high time Việt Nam started paying more attention to product origin and packaging. The ministry said the country should aim to expand its list of registered products to include additional entries as well as to set up measures to oversee the packaging process to make sure required standards are observed and enforced.

The ministry said it has received numerous notices and complaints regarding tampered product origins and subpar packaging. Several markets have gone as far as issuing official warnings, meaning further violations may result in a complete ban of Vietnamese products.

A recent MARD report said local governments must step up and play a large role in inspecting and overseeing the production of local products as well as handling penalties. The ministry has ordered the country’s plant protection department to work with importers and foreign markets to stay up to date on the current requirements and import regulations. Officials from the departments were told to provide exporters and farmers with support and information in the event they run into technical complications with buyers in foreign markets.

Last year’s export turnover of agricultural, forest and fishery products in Việt Nam reached a record high at US$48.6 billion, an increase of nearly 15 per cent compared to 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Of which, turnover for agricultural products exceeded the yearly target by $4.6 billion. — VNS

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