Inaccurate labeling of goods and materials in contravention of the regulatory requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were common mistakes which Vietnamese firms make when exporting to the US, heard a workshop on opportunities to export to the US and FDA requirements for imports recently held in Hanoi.
FDA technical expert David Lennarz, who is also Vice President of Registrar Corp that assists businesses with FDA compliance, said 31 Vietnamese businesses and products were being listed on FDA import alert list that can be detained without physical inspection.
According to Lennarz, FDA also requires businesses that export food, beverage and drugs for human and animal use to the US to register their production establishments and representatives in the US. Every two years, such businesses must register their production establishments and representatives in the US with the FDA to be granted new business codes.
In order not to be listed on FDA import alert list, US importers must produce evidence proving that products do not violate FDA rules for the shipments to be cleared from customs, he said, adding that such process would be repeated for 15-20 following shipments while on the import alert list.
Vietnamese firms should clearly inscribe information on ingredients, fat ingredients and allergens, the manufacturer and the origin of the product, said the US expert.
In order to boost exports to the US, he said they should notify FDA before shipping goods to the US and concurrently declare their shipments transported by sea, air, road or an express carrier.
In addition, they should develop a food safety system and have trade representatives to consult and assist them in completing relevant procedures, he stressed.