The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has adopted a flexible approach towards stuck cashew import shipments at ports as affected by MARD’s Circular 13/2011/TT-BNNPTNN dated March 16, 2011.
Accordingly, shipments with import contracts signed before July 1, 2011 would go through custom checks if they have food sanitation certificates granted by the food quarantine agencies.
The shipments with import shipments inked after July 1, 2011 could pass custom checks only if their foreign partners domiciled in countries which completed registration procedures with relevant Vietnamese authorities besides meeting quality standards.
According to the Circular 13, from July 1, 2011 all vegetation import shipments must show food sanitation certificates. Besides, the countries with vegetation products exported to Vietnam are obliged to register with Vietnamese agencies. The circular also said from 10 to 100 per cent of import shipments will be checked depending on their risk degree.
In light of the Circular 13, 400 raw cashew import shipments were stuck at ports as they failed to meet requirements.
In this context, on July 5, 2011 the Vietnam Cashews Association (Vinacas) sent a claim to the MARD asking for delay to the new regulations. Vinacas also proposed competent agencies remove raw cashews from the list of vegetation products subject to food sanitation checks since raw cashews are just an input production material for export.
“Delay of the Circular 13’s enforcement or removal of some agricultural products from the list of items subject to quality checks is all impossible,” MARD’s National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department deputy chief Phung Huu Hao said.
According to the MARD, as of July 13 only five countries were accepted to export vegetation products to Vietnam. They were the US, Canada, Australia, Thailand and China. Of them, the US and Thailand had finalised relevant procedures with Vietnam while Australia, Canada and China are in the legal setup stage. The deadline for these three countries to finalise procedures is August 1. After that date, they must strictly abide by Circular 13 regulations.
Around 20 countries currently export vegetation products to Vietnam.