HCM City Nearly 100 containers of frozen meat are being held at HCM City s Cat Lai Port after their owners failed to meet customs requirements, according to the city Animal Health Department.
To clear imported animal products, businesses needed to provide import licences and food safety and hygiene certificates, said Nguyen Huu Thinh, deputy head of customs at the port.
Many businesses have complained of huge losses when their imports fail to pass through customs within three weeks.
"If goods get stalled for 15-20 days at ports, the additional cost could amount to 30 per cent of their value," said Nguyen Ngoc Duc, a director of a city import-export company.
"My company imports 300,000 tonnes of goods monthly and incurs nearly VND10 billion (US$5.7 million) a month in penalties if we fail to deliver on time," an executive of a food import company said.
"Most businesses do not have either import licences or food safety and hygiene certificates and so cannot get customs clearance for their imports," Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of Animal Health Company VI, said.
"Authorities used to be lax, and businesses probably sold poor quality meat to distributors.
"The regulations are now strictly applied to ensure consumers health and legal rights are protected," Binh said. VNS