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Granting a Food Safety Certificate to the food business

Nowadays, health is a top concern for many people around the world. The food safety issue is one of the concerns due to its closely related to the daily living needs of each individual. Therefore, granting a Food Safety Certificate to the food business is increasingly focused and strictly controlled. In the article below, Viet An Law Firm would like to provide information on the above issue.

Certificate of food hygiene and safety

Legal basis

  • Law on Food Safety 2010, as amended and supplemented in 2018 ;
  • Decree 15/2018/ND-CP, detailing a number of articles of the Law on Food Safety, as amended and supplemented by Decree 155/2018/ND-CP ;
  • Decree No. 77/2016/ND-CP, amending and supplementing a number of regulations on investment and business conditions in the fields of international goods trading, chemicals, industrial explosives, fertilizers, and trading. Gas trading and food trading are under the state management of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as amended and supplemented by Decree 17/2020/ND-CP ;
  • Circular 38/2018/TT-BNNPTNT regulates the appraisal and certification of agricultural, forestry, and fishery food production and trading establishments that meet food safety conditions under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Development. rural development, amended and supplemented by Circular 32/2022/TT-BNNPTNT ;
  • Circular 48/2015/TT-BYT regulating food safety inspection activities in food production and trading under the management of the Ministry of Health;
  • Circular 43/2018/TT-BCT regulates food safety management under the responsibility of the Ministry of

Overview of Food Safety Certificate

A food hygiene and safety certificate is a type of license that entities with food business activities, food production, and processing facilities, need to have issued by a competent state agency to ensure that food does not harm human health and life and serve the state management of food stimulately.

Being granted a Food Safety Certificate is not only important for business establishments and food producers, but it is also meaningful for state management and especially consumers:

  • State agencies can easily manage entities that have a Food Safety Eligibility Certificate as well as promptly handle entities that do not have sufficient food safety conditions that participate in business and production in the market.
  • When obtaining a certificate, business and production establishments will be forced to fully comply with the safety conditions for the food they provide, demonstrating the prevention and professional ethics of the owners.
  • For consumers, the Food Safety Certificate is like a guarantee, an absolute trust in the products that the establishment brings to them.

Conditions for ensuring food safety for food production and trading establishments

According to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 19 of the Law on Food Safety, food production, and business establishments must ensure the following conditions:

  • Have an appropriate location and area, with a safe distance from toxic sources, pollution sources, and other harmful factors;
  • There is enough water that meets technical standards to serve food production and business;
  • Have adequate equipment to handle raw materials, process, package, preserve, and transport different types of food; have enough equipment, tools, washing and disinfecting facilities, antiseptic water, and equipment to prevent and control insects and harmful animals;
  • There is a waste treatment system that is regularly operated in accordance with the law on environmental protection;
  • Maintain food safety conditions and keep records on the origin of food ingredients and other documents on the entire food production and business process;
  • Comply with regulations on health, knowledge, and practices of people directly producing and trading food.

Conditions for an establishment to be granted a food safety certificate

To be granted a certificate, food production and business establishments must meet the following conditions:

  • Have enough conditions to ensure food safety suitable for food production and business establishments as stated above;
  • Have registered food business in the Enterprise Registration Certificate.

Competent authority to grant and revoke food safety certificates

Based on the actual food goods/services of the business, the units that issue food safety certificates are also different. Currently, the competent authorities in issuing this license include:

  • The Ministry of Health licenses food processing establishments and food service businesses that produce the following products/product groups: additives, flavorings, food processing aids; bottled drinking water, natural mineral water, food ice (instant ice and ice used for food processing); functional foods; micronutrients added to food as regulated in Appendix II of Decree 15/2018/ND-CP. Competent authorities are specifically stipulated in Circular 48/2015/TT-BYT as follows :
    • The Department of Food Safety provides certificates for business units in the fields of functional foods, food processing aids, food containers, etc.
    • The Sub-department of Food Safety has the authority to support, manage, and license bottled water businesses, small establishments producing functional foods, and food and beverage services such as cafes, collective kitchens, and hotel restaurants.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development licenses establishments and enterprises producing and trading in agricultural, forestry, and fishery products such as grain; meat; vegetables, tubers, fruits and vegetables, tuber and fruit products; Raw fresh milk as regulated in Appendix III – Decree 15/2018/ND-CP. Competent authorities are specifically stipulated in Circular 38/2018/TT-BNNPTNT as follows:
  • The Department of Agriculture grants food safety certificates to establishments that produce, collect, slaughter, pre-process, process, preserve, transport, export, import, and multi-industry food businesses (from 02 industries or more) with an enterprise registration certificate.
  • The Department of Animal Health grants food safety certificates to units managed by aquaculture facilities, national aquatic breed production facilities, and farming facilities registered for aquatic disease safety certification. products, when quarantining exported and imported aquatic animals.
  • The Department of Animal Health grants food safety certificates to business establishments producing fresh meat, poultry, livestock, and honey.
  • The Plant Protection Department issues food safety certificates to establishments producing and trading vegetables, fruits, and tea of all kinds.
  • Department of Quality Management and Resource Protection We issue food safety certificates to the management of business establishments producing raw materials and seafood products of all kinds.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade licenses establishments and businesses that produce and trade alcohol, beer, soft drinks, processed milk, cakes, jams, candy, etc. (as regulated in Appendix IV – Decree 15 /2018/ND-CP). In addition, the Provincial Department of Industry and Trade is also authorized over production and business establishments according to the provisions of Circular 43/2018/TTBCT.

Application for granting of a Food Safety Certificate

Pursuant to Article 12 of Decree 17/2020/ND-CP, the dossier includes the following documents:

  • Application for issuance of Certificate according to Form No. 01a, Section I specified in the Appendix issued with Decree 17/2020/ND-CP;
  • Notarized copy of Enterprise Registration Certificate or Investment Registration Certificate with food production and trading business;
  • Explanation of facilities, equipment, and tools to ensure food hygiene and safety conditions according to Form No. 02a (for production establishments), Form No. 02b (for business establishments), or both of the above forms (for establishments that both produce and do business) of Section I in the Appendix issued with Decree 17/2020/ND-CP ;
  • A comprehensive list of good health certified by the establishment owner or a health certificate of the establishment owner and people directly producing and trading food issued by a district-level medical facility or higher;
  • Certificate of training in food safety knowledge of the person directly producing and trading food, certified by the owner of the facility.

Procedures for granting a Food Safety Certificate

Step 1: The establishment sends the application for a Food Safety Certificate to the above agencies.

Step 2: Within 5 working days, the competent authority checks the dossier. If the dossier is not valid, send a document to the facility to supplement and complete the dossier.

Step 3: For valid documents, within 10 working days, those agencies will have a decision to establish an appraisal team and organize appraisal in the field.

For qualified establishments, a Food Safety Certificate will be granted.

Step 4: Return the Food Safety Certificate to the establishment.

The validity period of the Food Safety Certificate

The Food Safety Certificate is valid for 3 years.

Note: Before 06 months from the date the Food Safety Certificate expires, organizations and individuals producing and trading food must submit an application for re-issuance of the Certificate in case of remaining production and business.

Services for granting a Food Safety Certificate to the food business from Viet An Law Firm

  • Advise clients on conditions to be granted a Food Safety Certificate;
  • Prepare documents and submit applications on behalf of customers for a Food Safety Certificate at a competent state agency;
  • Exchange and update information with clients during the procedure;
  • Receive and return to clients the Food Safety Certificate;
  • Consulting on legal issues related to the business activities of the enterprise.

Above is Viet An Law’s advice on procedures for granting a Food Safety Certificate to the food business. If you need to carry out the above procedures, please contact Viet An Law for the most effective support.

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