Circular to be issued to help identify Vietnamese goods hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh chairs the workshop (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – A circular is being drafted to regulate ways to identify products of Vietnam and those made in Vietnam. It is expected to not only provide a basis for organisations and individuals to comply with the Government’s Decree 43/2017/ND-CP but also help eliminate intentional and accidental misinformation about country of origin.

A workshop was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in Hanoi on September 25 to collect opinions about this draft.

MoIT Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh said by adhering to the new circular, honest businesses will avoid the risk of origin fraud accusations, lawsuits or prestige erosion. Together with the implementation of Decree 43/2017/ND-CP, the circular will also help gradually eradicate the disguise of imports as Vietnamese goods as reported recently.

He noted the draft circular has been aligned with international commitments and domestic regulations on product origin, adding that it will not cause more expenses for businesses because country of origin labelling has long been mandatory under Decree 43/2017/ND-CP.

The circular will not only provide a basis for organisations and individuals to comply with Decree 43/2017/ND-CP but also help eliminate intentional and accidental misinformation about country of origin, the official said.

[Vietnam to build product origin site]

At the workshop, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Export – Import Department Tran Thanh Hai noted the country has issued many regulations on product origin, including those on how an item is defined as a product with Vietnamese origin.

However, he said, these stipulations have just been applied to exported and imported goods to help them benefit from preferential import tariffs under free trade agreements or serve foreign trade management targets. There haven’t been any rules about how products manufactured in Vietnam, including goods made from imported materials, and then sold in the domestic market are identified as “Product of Vietnam” or “Made in Vietnam”.

Besides, the absence of regulations on how an item is defined as “Product of Vietnam” or “Made in Vietnam” has also troubled many organisations and individuals with how to precisely write the country of origin on labels under Decree 43/2017/ND-CP.

In fact, Hai added, although some products are just assembled or undergo minor processing in Vietnam, they are still labeled “Made in Vietnam”. This has confused consumers and sparked public concern, but authorities haven’t had any bases to deal with.

To address those shortcomings, it is necessary to make a legal document about how an item is considered “Product of Vietnam” or having been “Made in Vietnam”, according to him.

This circular will provide standards for enterprises to make assessment by themselves so as to determine whether their goods can be declared “Product of Vietnam” or “Made in Vietnam”, Hai stressed.

At the event, agencies and enterprises gave opinions with multi-dimensional views on the need to promulgate the circular, the document’s content and its possible impact on production and business activities.

The MoIT said it will take into account those opinions to make revisions matching the reality. For issues beyond the scope of the circular, the ministry will consider and report them to the Prime Minister for decision before issuing the circular.

In January, the Prime Minister approved the “Scheme of deploying, applying and managing the traceability system” with the aim of building and operating a portal on national product and goods traceability by 2020.

The scheme aims to improve the system of legal regulations, documents and guidelines on traceability; promote social engagement in traceability activities to serve international integration and improve the efficiency of State management; and ensure the quality and safety of products and goods.

At the same time, it will focus on raising awareness of traceability among the public, agencies, organisations and enterprises through information dissemination and training for related parties; ensuring publicity and transparency of information on traceability of products and goods on the market; and providing essential information and knowledge about traceability./.

To protect consumers’ interests and improve the transparency of information about goods sold in the market, the Government issued Decree 43/2017/ND-CP on product label on April 14, 2017.

Accordingly, all organisations and individuals producing or trading goods in Vietnam or importing goods into the country must label their products, except for certain cases regulated in Clause 2 of Article 1 in this decree.