Vietnam losing US market due to low-quality agriculture products
  • | | July 14, 2017 08:50 AM
Vietnamese agriculture products are being rejected and more firms are having their business codes in the US revoked because of poorly performing business and low-quality products.


Products from Vietnam inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of Vina T&T Import Export Company, said he was worried after being warned by the US about banned substances from Vietnam.

"Carbendazim is the most worrisome as it is widely used for plant protection. The US issued a fine and ordered the destruction of batches of agriculture products with this substance. They also threatened to stop imports from Vietnam if this continues," Tung said.

An American importer was fined over USD50,000 after the carbendazim was detected. The importer then warned that Vietnam could lose its foothold in the US market. Vietnamese exporters said they hadn't been able to find better substitutes and reactions from Vietnamese authorities were also slow.

It was only after several firms complained about carbendazim did the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issue a ban against pesticides using carbendazim, benomyl and thiophane-methyl this January. However, the ban will only take effect in 2019.

During a conference about agricultural quality standards in Can Tho City, Herb Cochran, a consultant at the American Chamber of Commerce, said Vietnamese firms must read the US Food Safety Modernisation Act. If they don't follow the new requirements, they will be fined heavily and may be banned from exporting to the US.

Vietnam High-Quality Goods Enterprise Association President Vu Kim Hanh agreed and said the Food Safety Modernisation Act had been released for quite a while yet the local authorities and firms hadn’t appeared to have read its contents. 45% of the exports were returned in the first six months due to the lack of required documents and low-quality products.

The Vietnam Trade Office in the US also said once every two years, foreign firms in the US must register the locations of their factories and their representatives again for business codes.

However, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, the number of Vietnamese firms with business codes have fallen from 1,485 to 806. Many firms didn't know that they need to reregister and some followed out-dated procedures.

The representative of Vietnam Trade Office in the US said, "Firms don't know that their business code has been revoked are still exporting to the US and have had their commodities returned. They can be heavily fined or prosecuted."

The Vietnam Trade Office in the US advised firms that export food and beverage and animal feed to the US should check their business codes again before any export activities.

Vietnam may also lose Australia, South Korea, Saudia Arabia, China, Brazil and Mexico as markets because of antibiotic residues in farmed shrimp. These markets account for 25% of Vietnam's shrimp exports and are worth USD800m a year.

Despite warnings from the authorities, export firms are disinterested in improving their quality. Only three of 40 firms invited by the Veterinary Department attended the conference on the problem.

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