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EC could ban VN produce if imports fail on food safety

Update: October, 08/2014 - 08:37

Bitter melon is among Viet Nam's vegetables exported to European Countries. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The Euro­pean Commission (EC) has warned that it will ban the import of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables if Viet Nam does not comply with EU's food standards, reports the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Department for the European Market .

According to Department for the European Market on October 6, the EC's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG-SANCO) said that the EC would impose the ban if it receives five notifications of interceptions of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables due to food safety and phytosanitary reasons between February 1, 2014 and February 1, 2015.

The EC issued the warning after DG-SANCO received three notifications from EU member countries about the presence of harmful organisms in basil and bitter melon imported from Viet Nam.

DG-SANCO had also received in early 2014 a report from an EU member country about the detection of harmful organisms in wood packaging material from Viet Nam.

Under the International Plant Health Convention (IPPC), wood packaging material must be kiln-dried to eliminate any harmful organisms, and a phytosanitary certificate from the authorised agency of the importing country confirming that the requirements have been met should accompany each fruit and vegetable consignment.

DG-SANCO said that the wood packaging material from Viet Nam has not yet received any phytosanitary certificate as regulated by IPPC.

Department for the European Market said that if the EC imposes the ban, fruit and vegetables from Viet Nam will not be imported by the EU member countries, and Viet Nam's reputation for the export of produce and goods will be seriously affected. — VNS

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