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Self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam

Currently, imported products are increasingly popular. However, in order for these products to be circulated and traded in the Vietnamese market, businesses need to carry out inspection and self-declaration of quality. So, how to self-declaration ensure compliance with the provisions of the law? In the article below, Viet An Law will provide guidance on the self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam.

Self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam

Legal basis

  • Law on Food Safety 2010, as amended and supplemented in 2018.
  • Decree 15/2018/ND-CP details a number of articles of the Food Safety Law, as amended and supplemented by Decree 155/2018/ND-CP and Decree 85/2019/ND-CP.
  • Circular 43/2018/TT-BCT on food safety management under the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, amended and supplemented by Circular No. 13/2020/TT-BCT.
  • Decree 155/2018/ND-CP amends and supplements a number of regulations related to business investment conditions under the state management of the Ministry of Health.

Subjects can self-declare imported products

Imported products must carry out a Product Self-Declaration as follows:

  • Pre-packaged processed foods.
  • Food additives – Food processing aids.
  • Food containers – Packaging materials that come into direct contact with food.

Except for the following products, product declaration registration must be carried out according to regulations at the Food Safety Department or local Management Department/Board:

  • Health protection foods, functional foods;
  • Medical nutritional foods, foods for special diets;
  • Nutritional products for children from 0 – 36 months old;
  • Food additives, mixed food flavors with new uses, food additives that are not on the list of additives allowed for use in food. Or not for the right users as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

Process for self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam

Product inspection

Enterprises must conduct inspection at a designated laboratory or accredited laboratory, in accordance with ISO 17025.

The list of facilities designated by the Ministry of Health to be allowed to perform inspection is updated on the website: List of facilities designated for inspection to serve state management of food safety (vfa.gov.vn). Depending on geographical location and convenience, organizations and individuals flexibly choose suitable facilities to conduct inspections.

After successfully inspecting the product, the business will receive the product’s food safety inspection results. Within 12 months from the effective date of the result sheet, you must take the next step to self-declare your product. The process of performing product inspection until getting results takes about 05 to 07 working days.

Documents for declaration of imported products

Documents required for product announcement include the following documents:

  • Product announcement dossier according to the prescribed form (Form No. 01 Appendix I Decree 15/2018/ND-CP).
  • The product inspection result certificate is valid for a period of 12 months from the date of submission of the application and is issued by a designated laboratory or a laboratory recognized in accordance with ISO 17025 including safety criteria issued by the Ministry of Health according to risk management principles in accordance with international regulations or safety norms according to corresponding regulations and standards announced by organizations and individuals in cases without regulations of the Ministry of Health (original or certified copy).
  • Certificate of facility meeting food hygiene and safety conditions, HACCP, GMP, SSOP, ISO certification…
  • Product label sample, with an additional label (in Vietnamese) if the imported product has a foreign language label.

Note: Particularly for irradiated foods, genetically modified foods, new technology products, or ingredients containing genetically modified or irradiated materials, the declaration dossier must have a copy of the biology safety certificate, irradiation safety, and explanation of the production process.

Competent agencies receive dossiers for self-declaration of imported products

The following agencies have the authority to receive dossiers announcing imported products:

  • Food Safety Management Board (or equivalent) of the province where the enterprise produces and sells products.
  • Food Safety and Hygiene Branch (or equivalent) under the Department of Health of the district/province where the product business is located if that location is in another district/province.

Procedure for self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam

To carry out self-declaration of imported product quality, businesses, organizations, and individuals need to follow the following steps:

Step 1: Quality inspection

  • Prepare product samples for inspection.
  • Determine inspection criteria based on standards and legal regulations.
  • Send product samples to authorized inspection facilities for inspection.

Step 2: Carry out a declaration of imported product quality

  • Enterprises register self-declaration of imported product quality on mass media or their websites.
  • Publicly post information at the headquarters of organizations, individuals, or businesses.
  • Submit 01 (one) registration for self-declaration of product quality by mail or submit directly to the competent state management agency, designated by the Provincial People’s Committee.
  • After declaring the product, businesses, organizations, and individuals have the right to produce and trade products. They also take full responsibility for the safety and quality of that product.

Some frequently asked questions during the process of declaring imported products

Can self-declared records be presented in other languages?

According to the law, documents in the self-declaration dossier of imported products must be presented in Vietnamese and not in foreign languages. If there are documents in a foreign language, they need to be translated into Vietnamese and confirmed by notarization. This ensures that the registration meets the language requirements of the state regulatory agency.

After self-publishing a product, is there anything I need to keep in mind?

In case the product has a change in product name; origin and composition, the enterprise must self-declare the product. In cases of other changes, the enterprise shall notify in writing the content of the change to the competent state management agency; and may produce and sell products immediately after sending the notice.

If I do not declare the product, will I be penalized?

In case of circulating products on the market without announcement, there may be a fine from 15,000,000 VND to 20,000,000 VND according to the provisions of Point a, Clause 1, Article 20 of Decree 115/2018/ND-CP.

In case the product is imported for processing, is it necessary to declare the product?

Pursuant to Article 4 of Decree 15/2018/ND-CP, manufactured and imported products and raw materials are only used to process export goods or serve the internal production of organizations and individuals, not for consumption. in the domestic market are exempted from carrying out product self-declaration procedures.

Customers who need advice on procedures for self-declaration of imported products in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the best support.

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