New safety appraisal costs burden fisheries

10:46 | 27/03/2017 Trade

(VEN) - Vietnam’s fisheries sector is chafing under new government rates charged for inspection and certification of product safety for exports. The firms claim that the new regulations, that took effect on January 1, are cutting into their profits and reducing their ability to compete.

High charges for appraisal make seafood businesses difficult

The November 14, 2016 directive issued by the Ministry of Finance sets out the rates and collection regime, and the management and use of charges for appraisal of food quality and safety.

According to Circular 286/2016/TT-BTC, the charge for official appraisal to grant certificates of food export at the request of importing countries is VND350,000 per batch of goods inspected and sampled, and VND100,000 per batch of goods for simply checking its records.

Charges for appraisal of records, additives, processing aids, processed food and packaging materials range from VND300,000 to VND500,000 for each product.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) says the newly hiked charges increase the costs of businesses. Based on the scale of production and exports in 2016, each business will spend additional amounts ranging from VND100 million to more than VND1 billion a year.

The new tariffs for appraisal of food safety and hygiene in the agro-forestry and fishery sector implemented by central agencies are VND50,000 per inspector, higher than that of VND30,000 charged by the Ministries of Health and of Industry and Trade under previous directives. Therefore, VASEP recommends that the Ministry of Finance consider applying uniform charges for such inspections.

VASEP recommends the Ministry of Finance to review charges for appraisal in case of inspection and sampling in the

company to not exceed VND200,000 per batch of goods. In addition, charges for appraisal of records do not exceed

VND200,000 per time at the first announcement and VND100,000 per time at the second announcement.

Nguyen Phuong & Thuy Duong