Food and beverage businesses are facing new challenges to their exports to the US when new US regulations on food hygiene and safety are effective in 2012.
At a workshop in Hanoi on April 18, US experts introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), its amendments and impact on exports to the US.
According to David Lennarz, former FDA expert, imported items under strict control include food for pets containing melamine and aquaculture products containing antibiotic residue.
He said that mandatory preventive controls for food companies will be effective in July 2012, and mandatory production safety standards will take effect in 2013.
Lennarz said that major difficulties facing Vietnamese export businesses relate to the quality of products, certificates of origin, packaging methods and delivery time.
Businesses should strictly implement these regulations, especially seafood and soft drink businesses, to avoid having their products seized, he said.
Currently, the US is Vietnam’s leading import market. Last year, Vietnam fetched US$16.9 billion in export turnover from the US market, up nearly 20 per cent compared to 2010. It is forecast that Vietnam’s exports of food and soft drinks will continue to increase in the coming years.
However, Vietnamese businesses are advised to meet new regulations on food and pharmaceutical safety to promote export growth to this potential market.