Trade Standards Compliance Capacities in Vietnam
IDE Policy Brief
Source: UNIDO dataset and analysis, based on EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), US Operational and Administrative System for Import Support (OASIS), Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) data
Vietnam was ranked as the fourth largest exporter of seafood in the world in 2010, with pangasius and shrimp as major commodities. Yet, in recent years, Vietnam has had difficulties meeting the regulations of importing countries. At Japanese ports, shrimp imports from Vietnam have been a major target of intensive inspection. Shrimp exporters are greatly concerned over this issue because it could jeopardise future export growth in shrimp.
The failure to meet Japanese food safety standards stemmed from the improper use of feeds, which points to a potential problem in the supply chain management of shrimp, especially at the early stages of shrimp culture. For the grown shrimp to pass inspection, the entire growth process must be well managed to avoid introduction of any banned or problematic substances.
Vietnam’s standards compliance capacities in fishery products seems weak
Among various agricultural commodities, fish and fishery products from Vietnam have incurred rather high rates of rejection relative to the overall number of rejections (see Figure 1), even when scaled by import value (see Table 1 ).
(per US$ million imports)
|Veterinary drug residues||297||172||170||44|
|Other microbiological contaminants||0||26||-||-|
To improve trade standards compliance in Vietnam, four actions may be useful. The first is to make smallholder farmers aware of the existence of these standards and the certifications that are required in export markets. Second, a stricter domestic enforcement mechanism is needed to expand export opportunities to smallholder farmers. Third, it is important to regulate inputs such as agriculture chemicals, fertilizers, and feeds. Fourth, in addition to intensifying monitoring by local authorities, providing farmers access to public labs may also bring positive results by educating farmers about the condition of their products. If they can check the status of their fish themselves before sale, that will also give them more incentives to grow safer fish.
- The report can be downloaded from http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Collabo/UNIDO_2013.html
- The case study can be downloaded from http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Dp/395.html