Seafood companies grin and bear unreasonable fees

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VietnamNet English - 68 month(s) ago 6 readings

Seafood companies grin and bear unreasonable fees

VietNamNet Bridge – Seafood companies have complained that they have to pay too many different kinds of unreasonable fees, which cause unnecessary waste and make Vietnamese products less competitive in the world market.

Seafood companies insisted on the removal of some unreasonable kinds of fees at the two meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. However, they failed to do that.

The unreasonable fees

According to the companies, they have to spend millions of dong to test export consignments. There are the consignments have to go through the tests for tens of indices, while the importers only require the test results for 4-5 indices, thus causing unnecessary waste for enterprises.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the expenses businesses have to pay for verifying the export consignments before shipping have become the burden on them, as the fee has increased by 2.5-2 times.

Exporters have to spend 7-10 days to have samples taken for testing before shipping and to follow necessary procedures, which is really a big disadvantage for Vietnam’s exports, especially in current circumstances, when businesses can hardly access bank loans

The representative of an enterprise in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province said that the state management agencies even ask to test for some indexes which are not required by the importers. In some cases, businesses would have to pay more than one billion dong a year to test for some indexes.

“Enterprises have been classified into different groups. Even A-group businesses, i.e. the best businesses, also have to move heaven and earth to obtain certificates to submit to the customs agency. This means that the classification does not have any significance,” he said.

Duong Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chair of VASEP, said that exporters now have to present a health certificate to be able to export products, which costs enterprises more money. He thinks that the state management agencies should not force enterprises to obtain the certificates which are not required by importers.

“Minor troubles prove to be unavoidable when Vietnam’s seafood export turnover reaches six billion dollars a year. The ratio of food hygiene violations of Vietnamese exports is very small, just 1/10,000, which is not high enough to install a barrier to put difficulties for enterprises,” Minh said.

Minh went on to say that management agencies do not need to install barriers for enterprises, because enterprises themselves understand well that they need to satisfy importers’ requirements, if they want to retain clients.

Seafood companies now can only export products when they can show health certificate. Meanwhile, some markets including the US or the Middle East, do not require the certificate.

State agencies cannot please everyone

Responding to the complaints by businesses, Head of the National Agro Forestry Fisheries Quality Assurance (Nafiqad) Nguyen Nhu Tiep said that stricter examination is being carried out in neighboring countries.

Singapore, for example, verifies every consignment of exports, while Indonesia only allows exporting the products made at the workshops that can meet the standards on food hygiene recognized by the state’s competent agencies.

Tiep has also denied the opinion that the fees are overly high, affirming that the fees have been kept unchanged since 2002, which are very low if compared with the current goods prices.

The representative of Nafiqad also explained that there are two kinds of certificates – state’s certificates and commercial certificates. Nafiqad only grants state certificates, because this relates to the trade relations between the two countries, not the relations between two enterprises. Enterprises should understand that the examination aims to protect the prestige and brands of the two nations.

Source: Dat Viet

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