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New decree vexes fertiliser firms

Update: July, 24/2015 - 09:17

Fertiliser packs are stored at Ca Mau Fertiliser Company Ltd. Obtaining new certificates of confomity has caused difficulties for fertiliser producers and traders. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HCM CITY (VNS) — Many businesses involved in fertiliser production and trading complain that they face difficulties in obtaining a Certificate of Conformity for their products as required under Decree No 202/2013/ND-CP that took effect in February last year.

The certificate is aimed at ensuring a product is suitable for Vietnamese conditions and it does not affect the environment.

Vo Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the Thien Sinh Joint Stock Company, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued certificates for inorganic fertilisers and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for organic and other fertilisers.

The Thien Sinh Joint Stock Company produced a foliar NPK fertiliser that was tested by the latter's science council and sold for more than 20 years, but when the company registered for the certificate, both ministries refused to accept the application, saying the fertiliser was neither organic nor inorganic under the new regulation, he said.

Other businesses said they too faced the same situation.

Producers had no problem registering for inorganic fertilisers that came in single-nutrient formulas like phosphate, urea, and DAP because the Government had set national standards for them, they said.

But for foliar NPK fertilisers, they did not know where to apply since there was no national standard for this variety, they said.

With two ministries involved in managing fertilisers, businesses faced confusion and difficulty in obtaining the conformity certificate, they said.

Speaking at a recent meeting in HCM City, Nguyen Nhu Cuong, deputy head of the Crop Production Department, said there had been slow progress in issuing the certificates.

According to agriculture departments around the country, more than 2,000 organic and other fertilisers were available in the market, but only around 200 had the certificate, he said.

The Government had mandated that companies should, by next February, stop making products that did not have the certificate, he said.

Truong Hop Tac of the Crop Production Department said both offices receiving applications as well as companies often confused the conformity certificate with a quality certificate.

Fertiliser producers said some other stipulations in the decree also caused difficulties.

Nguyen Van Linh, general director of Humix Company, said the decree required technical workers and the management to be knowledgeable in the chemical, physical and biological fields and all the top managers to be at least university graduates.

Only a few fertiliser companies could meet these requirements, he said.

Tac said the department would report the industry's feedback to the ministry to explore ways to resolve the problems. — VNS

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