The Vietnam Trade Office (VTO) in the United States has reminded domestic export firms to check the validity of their business codes before shipping food and beverage products for human and animal consumption into the US.
According to recent FDA data, before this re-registration requirement, Vietnam had a total of 1,485 enterprises with valid business numbers provided by the FDA; however, this number has currently dropped to 806.
Dao Tran Nhan, head of US-based VTO, said that under US law, all foreign firms exporting food and beverages for people and animals into the US market must re-register every two years. This included registering their manufacturing facilities and representatives in the US so that they could be issued with a new valid business code. This task needed to be completed before the shipment arrives in the US.
Since 2017, the FDA has changed the method of verification for issuing new business codes and established further regulations. For example, after being designated by the manufacturing facilities and registered with the FDA, the firm’s representatives in the US must send a letter or document to the FDA confirming their authorisation to represent a Vietnamese manufacturing facility in the US.
If the FDA does not receive this letter or document, the re-registration is considered incomplete and the business code will be cancelled.
Shipments by Vietnamese firms that are unaware that their FDA business codes have been revoked will be refused entry to the port.
Further, companies proceeding with goods delivery without valid registration will be considered violating the law and may be subject to criminal or other severe penalties under the United States’ Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Data provided by the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported that in 2016 the country’s export turnover to the US hit 38.5 billion USD, growing 15 percent compared with the previous year and accounting for 22 percent of the country’s total import-export turnover.
Eight types of product exported to the US earned over 1 billion USD for the country in 2016. Textiles and garment shipments were at the top with an increase of five percent from a year ago to 11.5 billion USD, accounting for nearly 30 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover to the US.VNA