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Issue food safety eligibility certification in Vietnam

Individuals, organizations and enterprises engaged in the production and trading of food and food service need to apply for food safety eligibility certification. In addition, to production facility, this is also a basic condition for organizations and individuals to register for product announcement. After 16-year operation, Viet An Law Firm is proud to be one of the prestigious and leading law firms in the field of applying for food safety eligibility certification as well as advising on legal procedures arising during business activities of a tons of food enterprises across the whole country.

Food hygiene and safety certification for supermarkets in Vietnam

Legal basis

  • Law on Food Safety 2010;
  • Decree 15/2018/ND-CP;
  • Decree 115/2018/ND – CP.

What is a food safety eligibility certification?

Food safety eligibility certification is a type of certification issued by a competent state agency to companies and individual business households arising from food trading, food production, restaurants, cafes, processing establishments,.. in order for these establishments to fully meet the conditions of food hygiene and safety to ensure the interests of consumers and serve the State management of food.

Food production and trading establishments must have food safety eligibility certification in Vietnam

  • Food service establishments and food processing establishments include: shops, instant food stalls, cooked foods, dining restaurants, ready-to-eat meal processing facilities, canteens and collective kitchens.
  • Food business establishment means the performance of one, some or all activities of introduction, preservation services, transportation services or trade in food such as: food production establishments, food outlets, supermarkets, markets.

If the above-mentioned facility has been granted one of the Certificates: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis System and Critical Control Points (HACCP), ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System, International Food Standards (IFS), Global Food Safety Standard (BRC),  A valid food safety system certification (FSSC 22000) or equivalent will not be required to carry out procedures for issuance of a certificate of food safety eligibility.

Conditions to issue food safety eligibility certification in Vietnam

Food service providers and food processing establishments must satisfy the following conditions

  • The kitchen is arranged to ensure no cross-contamination between unprocessed food and processed food.
  • There is enough water meeting technical standards for processing and trading.
  • Having tools to collect and store garbage and waste to ensure hygiene.
  • Sewers in the store area, kitchen must be ventilated, not stagnant.
  • The cafeteria must be ventilated, cool, well-lit, maintain a clean sanitary regime, take measures to prevent insect and animal pests.
  • There are food storage facilities, toilets, hand washing and daily waste and garbage collection.
  • The head of the unit having a collective kitchen is responsible for ensuring food safety.
  • Having registered food business lines in the Business Registration Certificate.

Food production and trading establishments must satisfy the following conditions

  • Having an appropriate location and area, having a safe distance from sources of hazards, sources of pollution and other harmful factors;
  • Having enough water meeting technical standards for food production and trading;
  • Have sufficient equipment suitable for material handling, processing, packaging, storage and transportation of various foods; have sufficient equipment, tools, means of washing and disinfection, antiseptic water, equipment for preventing and combating insects and harmful animals;
  • Having a waste treatment system and operating regularly in accordance with the law on environmental protection;
  • Maintain conditions to ensure food safety and keep records on the origin and origin of food raw materials and other documents on the entire process of food production and trading;
  • Comply with regulations on health, knowledge and practices of persons directly involved in food production and trading.
  • Having registered food business lines in the Business Registration Certificate.

Competence to issue food safety eligibility certification

  • Provincial-level Health Departments shall issue food safety eligibility certification to food service businesses and food processing establishments
  • The Department of Industry and Trade shall issue food safety eligibility certification to food production and trading establishments.

Dossier of application for the certificate of satisfaction of food safety conditions in Vietnam

  • An application for a Certificate of satisfaction of food safety conditions;
  • A copy of the business registration certificate;
  • An explanation of material foundations, equipment and tools to ensure food hygiene and safety conditions  as prescribed by competent state management agencies;
  • Certificate of health adequacy of the establishment owner and persons directly involved in food production and trading issued by district-level health establishments or higher
  • Certificate of having been trained in knowledge of food biosafety by the establishment owner and of persons directly involved in food production and trading according to regulations of the Minister of Specialized Management.

Note:

  • All officers and employees in the unit applying for food safety eligibility certification must be physically fit to ensure the operation of the establishment. Health examination for officials and employees is one of the mandatory requirements in the procedure for applying for the certificate of satisfaction of food safety conditions.
  • At the same time, officials and employees of the establishment must participate in training in knowledge of food safety and hygiene. The owner of the establishment will have to undergo a test related to food safety and hygiene.

Application process for the food safety eligibility certification in Vietnam

  1. Step 1: Submit the application at the competent state agency as instructed above
  2. Step 2: Receiving and processing dossiers: Within 15 working days from the date of receipt of complete and valid dossiers, competent state agencies shall inspect the actual conditions for ensuring food safety at food production and trading establishments.
  3. Step 3: Issue a food safety eligibility certification if eligible.

Penalties for violations of food safety regulations

According to Clause 8 Article 1 of Decree No. 124/2021/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No. 115/2018/ND-CP stipulating penalties for administrative violations of food safety as follows:

  • A fine ranging from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000 shall be imposed for failing to obtain a certificate of food safety or using an expired certificate of food safety when running food and drink business, except cases where certificate of food safety is exempted.
  • A fine ranging from VND 30,000,000 to VND 40,000,000 shall be imposed for failing to obtain a certificate of food safety or using an expired certificate of food safety when producing and/or trading foods, except cases where certificate of food safety is exempted.
  • A fine ranging from VND 40,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 shall be imposed for commission of one of the following violations:
  • Failing to obtain Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate or using an expired GMP certificate when producing dietary supplements, except cases where dietary supplements are produced on the herbal drug or traditional drug production lines or other cases as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
  • Trading or placing on the market domestically manufactured or imported dietary supplements granted Certificate of Declaration of conformity with the food safety regulations or certificate of registered product declaration before July 01, 2019 without obtaining GMP certificate or another document of equivalent validity before manufacturing.”
  • Remedial measures:
  • Forcibly withdraw food for violations specified in Clauses 2 and 3 of this Article;
  • Forcibly change the purpose of use or recycling or forcible destruction of food for violations specified in Clauses 2 and 3 of this Article.

Duration of the food safety eligibility certification in Vietnam

03 years from the date of issue.

Note: Before 06 months from the date on which the food safety eligibility certification expires, food production and trading organizations and individuals must submit an application for re-issuance of the Certificate in case of continuing production and business.

Service of applying for the Certificate of food safety eligibility of Viet An Law Firm

  • Advising customers on conditions to be granted the food safety eligibility certification;
  • Prepare dossiers and submit dossiers on behalf of customers for the Certificate of satisfaction of food safety conditions at competent state agencies;
  • Discuss and update information for customers during procedures;
  • Receive and return to customers the Certificate of food safety eligibility;
  • Advising on legal issues related to business activities of enterprises.

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