HCMC to move market selling chemicals far from the city center

Update: May, 25/2016 - 15:00
Chemicals and additives are sold without origin stamps or directions for use at HCMC’s Kim Biên market.—Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – HCM City authorities will move a market selling chemicals and additives far from the city center, a source said yesterday.

The news was confirmed at a meeting chaired by the HCMC People’s Committee deputy chairman Trần Vĩnh Tuyến early this week. The city authority official also discussed measures to tackle the illegal sale of harmful chemicals at Kim Biên market in District 5.

The city People’s Committee will pursue criminal punishment for serious violations involving harmful chemicals. And they will sanction those selling chemicals in violation of State regulations.

Phan Hoàn Kiếm, chief of the city’s Market Management Department, said about 600 companies and individuals are producing, importing, and trading in chemicals in the city.

There are 16 additive and chemical traders in the Kim Biên Market. More than 93 individual shops also sell industrial chemicals and additives in the area surrounding the market.

At the meeting, the deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee said: “We hear many complaints about sale of chemicals from residents. Veteran State officials have been asking illegal sellers to stop trading in Kim Biên District.”

“The main concern of residents now is food safety.”   

According to the chairman, the demand for chemical food additives and flavouring is strong. And State management of exploitation and sales in this field is still weak and has wide gaps.

City authorities must be responsible for food safety. So they are determined to control imported chemical sales and to stop the misuse of chemicals as food additives for the wrong purposes.

Tuyến asked the Kim Biên market management board to investigate chemical trading again.

Tuyến also entrusted the Department of Industry and Trade with setting up a new chemical trading centre in the Bình Tân district by June 20th, at the latest. The new chemical trading centre will have criteria on fire and explosion prevention, and regulations on buying and selling chemicals.     

Tuyến said buyers must show identity cards and disclose intended use, in order to buy dangerous chemicals, such as acids. And sellers must take responsibility if criminal cases result from their chemical sales. Individuals or companies that build chemical stores near residential quarters will also be strictly punished, he added.     

Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of the city’s Industry and Trade Department, said the city has no regulations on chemical use and trading. So it is difficult to keep close control of sales.

Packages of chemicals and additives must be stamped with details of their origin. Only trading companies are allowed to buy industrial chemicals, Hòa said.- VNS