origin fraud (1)

Vietnam is currently flooded with China-grown agricultural products, such as carrots, potatoes and mandarins, misdescribed as farm produce originating in two Vietnamese Provinces - Da Lat City, Tien Giang Province and Thailand. Vietnam has no regulations on origin traceability and identification of home grown produce. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has pointed out three major reasons for the alleged fraud, with the first being that Vietnam’s regulations fail to instruct traders to stick labels on packages of farm produce, which are sold directly to customers. The second loophole is related to origin traceability, with the Ministry noting that the regulation on this has yet to be applied effectively and widely to farm produce. In addition, the Government’s Decree 15/2018 guiding the application of some articles of the law on food safety and hygiene includes a regulation only tracing origins of unsafe products and those requested by agencies, if necessary. The third loophole determined by the Ministry relates to regulations on the identification of Vietnamese products. In fact, Vietnam has yet to issue criteria for how a product is recognised as being Vietnamese. Although the country has regulations on identifying "Made-in-Vietnam" products, these regulations are applied only to exports and not to items sold in the domestic market. The Ministry has proposed two solutions: a) minimising unregulated trade and fostering formal trade, and b) encouraging manufacturers to produce high-quality and safe products with their origin printed on packages.

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