An information centre made debut in Hanoi on Dec. 20 with the aim of helping businesses better understand regulations relating to the export of goods to the EU market.

The REACH/RoHS Information Centre (RRIC) is an initiative of the Department of Chemicals under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland ( SECO) .

Speaking at the ceremony, MoIT Deputy Minister Nguyen Nam Hai said REACH ( Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) and RoHS ( Restriction of Hazardous Substances ) directives have significant impacts on most Vietnamese businesses exporting products to Europe .

The application of the new regulations brings not only positive interests but also big challenges to producers and exporters from developing countries, including Vietnam , he noted.

Currently, the EU is an important partner of Vietnam , accounting for 17 percent of the country’s foreign trade . In 2010 , Vietnam ’s export turnover to this market reached 11 billion USD .

According to the chief representative of UNIDO in Vietnam , John Patrick Gilabert , Vietnam , as a member of the World Trade Organization , must fully comply with its commitments on technical barriers to trade as well as measures to protect human health and the environment.

UNIDO will provide technical support for RRIC to help Vietnamese businesses better understand the EU directives in order to harvest greater successes in their exports to this market, he said./.