Circular No. 56/2009/TT-BNNPTNT of September 07, 2009, on examination and inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety before market circulation

THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence – Freedom – Happiness
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No. 56/2009/TT-BNNPTNT

Hanoi, September 7, 2009

 

CIRCULAR

ON EXAMINATION AND INSPECTION OF AQUATIC FOOD HYGIENE AND SAFETY BEFORE MARKET CIRCULATION

THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 01/ 2008/ND-CP of January 3, 2008, defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
Pursuant to the November 26, 2003 Fisheries Law;
Pursuant to the Ordinance on Food Hygiene and Safety and the Government’s Decree No. 163/ 2004/ND-CP of September 7, 2004, detailing a number of articles of the Ordinance on Food Hygiene and Safety;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 79/ 2008/ND-CP of July 18, 2008, prescribing the organizational system of food hygiene and safety management, inspection and testing;
Pursuant to June 5, 2009 Joint Circular No. 31/2009/TTLT-BNNPTNT-BNVofthe Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Home Affairs, guiding the functions, tasks, powers, organization and payroll of Sub-Departments of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance under provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments;
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development guides the examination and inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safely before market circulation as follows:

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Scope of regulation

This Circular guides the order and contents of examination and inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety before market circulation; and responsibilities of examination and inspection agencies and establishments producing and trading in aquatic products before market circulation (below referred to as establishments).

Article 2. Subjects of application

1. This Circular applies to:

a/ Aquaculture establishments.

b/ Fishing vessels; fishing ports; fish markets: independent ice producers serving aquatic food preservation and processing; establishments purchasing, preliminarily processing, storing, preserving, packing and processing aquatic food for domestic sale only.

c/ Export aquatic food processing vessels; establishments cleaning and supplying live bivalve mollusks: independent refrigerating storehouses preserving aquatic food; establishments preliminarily processing, storing, preserving, packing and processing aquatic products and having export products.

2. This Circular does not apply to establishments producing aquatic products not for sale on the market.

Article 3. Interpretation of terms

In this Circular, the terms below are construed as follows:

1. Aquatic food means all animal and plant species living in water and amphibian species, including their spawn and organs, used for food or food with ingredients being aquatic products.

2. Aquatic food producer or trader means an organization or individual that fishes, cultures, purchases, preserves, preliminarily processes or processes aquatic products.

3. Market circulation means domestic sale or export of aquatic products by aquatic food producers and traders.

4. Examination means evaluation of the level of conformity with standards and technical regulations on food hygiene and safety under current regulations by producers and traders of aquatic food and aquatic food products.

5. Inspection means sampling of products at aquatic food production and trading stages for analysis in order to evaluate their level of conformity with standards and technical regulations on food hygiene and safety (excluding sampling of products to verify producers’ or traders’ satisfaction of food hygiene and safety conditions).

Article 4. Examination and inspection agencies

Agencies in charge of examination and inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety (below referred to as examination agencies) before market circulation include:

1. The Aquatic Resource Exploitation and Protection Department, which shall examine the application of food hygiene and safety assurance measures in the entire process from fishing, preservation and transportation to landfall of fishing vessels.

2. The Aquaculture Department, which shall examine food hygiene and safety in the aquaculture process.

3. The Animal Health Department, which shall examine food hygiene and safety of aquatic products at fish markets.

4. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, which shall:

a/ Examine food hygiene and safety at the establishments specified at Point c. Clause 1, Article 2 of this Circular.

b/ Implement national programs on aquatic food hygiene and safety inspection.

5. Professional agencies of provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments (below referred to as local examination agencies), which, within the ambit of their assigned tasks, shall:

a/ Examine food hygiene and safety at the establishments specified at Point b, Clause 1, Article 2 of this Circular.

b/ Participate in national programs on aquatic food hygiene and safety inspection.

Article 5. Conditions for aquatic products to be sold on the market

1. Aquatic products used as food for domestic sale:

a/ For fresh and live aquatic products, information for tracking down their origin must be available.

b/ Preliminarily processed or processed aquatic products must satisfy any of the following conditions:

– Being produced and traded by preliminarily processing, processing, storing and preserving establishments recognized to have satisfied food hygiene and safety assurance conditions;

– Obtaining certificates of aquatic food hygiene and safety quality issued by local examination agencies under the Regulation promulgated together with the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Decision No. 118/2008/QD-BNN of December 11, 2008 (below referred to as Regulation 118);

– Being certified for regulation conformity announcement.

2. Aquatic products may be exported if:

a/ They are produced by establishments recognized to have satisfied food hygiene and safety assurance conditions under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s regulations; and concurrently meet requirements of respective importing markets.

b/ They are inspected and certified for quality and food hygiene and safety (requirements on labeling, ice-glazing rates and biological and chemicals criteria) under regulations of importing countries or regulations applicable to each period as announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Chapter II

EXAMINATION AND INSPECTION

Article 6. Process of exploitation, preservation and transportation of aquatic products to fishing ports

The Aquatic Resource Exploitation and Protection Department shall:

1. Examine the application of food hygiene and safety assurance measures in the entire process from fishing, preservation and transportation to landfall of fishing vessels under national technical regulation QCVN02-13: 2009/BNNPTNT Fishing vessels – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

2. Examine the observance of regulations of the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ban the exploitation, preservation and transportation of poisonous aquatic species for food.

Article 7. At aquaculture/harvesting establishments

1. The Aquaculture Department shall examine and certify aquaculture conditions to ensure food hygiene and safety under current regulations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

2. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department shall implement:

a/ The national program on control of toxic chemical residues in reared aquatic products under the Regulation promulgated together with Decision No.130/2008/QD-BNN.

b/ The national program on control of hygiene and safety in bivalve mollusk harvesting under the Regulation promulgated together with Decision No.I31/2008/QD-BNN.

Article 8. At fishing ports Local examination agencies shall:

1. Examine food hygiene and safety assurance conditions of fishing vessels, fishing ports and ice producers according to the order and procedures under the Regulation promulgated together with the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Decision No. 117/2008/QD-BNN of December 11, 2008, (below referred to as Regulation 117) and corresponding Vietnam regulations as follows:

a/ For fishing vessels: QCVN 02-13: 2009/BNNPTNT Fishing vessels – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

b/ For fishing ports: QCVN 02-12: 2009/BNNPTNT Fishing ports – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

c/ For ice producers at ports: QCVN 02-08: 2009/BNNPTNT Ice producers serving aquatic production – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

2. Physically examine aquatic materials and products at ports upon vessels’ landfall and may take samples for testing of food hygiene and safety criteria when necessary; take samples for inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety at ports under the national program on post-harvest inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety under Chapter III of this Circular.

3. Verify information for tracking down origin of aquatic products of vessels (aquatic species, volumes and fishing grounds) before market circulation.

Article 9. At aquatic material purchasing and preserving establishments

Local examination agencies shall:

1. Examine food hygiene and safety assurance conditions according to the order and procedures under Regulation 117 and national technical regulation QCVN 02-10: 2009/BNNPTNT Aquatic product purchasers – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

2. Physically examine aquatic materials and products at establishments and take samples for testing of food hygiene and safety criteria when necessary; take samples for inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety under the national program on post-harvest inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety under Chapter III of this Circular.

3. Examine the supply of information for tracking down origin of aquatic products purchased, classified, preserved and marketed by these establishments.

Article 10. At establishments preliminarily processing, processing, packing, storing and preserving end-products

1. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department and local examination agencies shall examine food hygiene and safety assurance conditions of establishments preliminarily processing, processing, packing, storing and preserving end-products under Regulation 117 and corresponding Vietnam regulations as follows:

a/ For aquatic product processors: QCVN 02-01: 2009/BNNPTNT Aquatic food producers and traders – General conditions on food hygiene and safety assurance, and QCVN 02-02: 2009/BNNPTNT Aquatic food producers and traders

– Program on assurance of food quality and safety under HACCP principles.

b/ For instant seafood processors: QCVN 02-03: 2009/BNNPTNT Instant seafood processors

– Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

c/ For canned seafood producers: QCVN 02-04: 2009/BNNPTNT Canned seafood producers

– Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

d/ For dried seafood processors: QCVN 02-05: 2009/BNNPTNT Dried seafood processors

– Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

e/ For fish sauce producers: QCVN 02-06: 2009/BNNPTNT Fish sauce producers – Good hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

f/ For bivalve mollusk producers: QCVN 02-07: 2009/BNNPTNT Bivalve mollusk producers – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

g/ For refrigerating storehouses: QCVN 02-09: 2009/BNNPTNT Aquatic refrigerating storehouses – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions.

2. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department shall examine and certify exported aquatic food products under Regulation 118 and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developments relevant regulations on examination and sampling for testing of aquatic product lots.

3. Local examination agencies shall examine and certify aquatic products before domestic sale under Regulation 118 and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s relevant regulations on sampling and examination.

Article 11. At fish markets

1. The Animal Health Department shall examine aquatic food hygiene and safety at markets in combination with aquatic quarantine under national technical regulation QCVN 02-11: 2009/BNNPTNT Fish markets – Food hygiene and safety assurance conditions, and the Ministry of Health’s relevant regulations.

2. Local examination agencies shall take samples for food hygiene and safety inspection at fish markets under the national program on post-harvest inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety under Chapter III of this Circular.

Chapter III

NATIONAL PROGRAM ON POST-HARVEST INSPECTION OF AQUATIC FOOD HYGIENE AND SAFETY

Article 12. Elaboration and approval of plans to implement the inspection program

1. Based on the previous year’s examination and inspection results, reports of consumers, market warnings on food hygiene and safety and guidance of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, local examination agencies shall elaborate plans and cost estimates to implement the inspection program and submit them to provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments for approval before sending them to the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department for sum-up and submission to the Ministry.

2. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department shall sum up plans to implement the inspection program and submit them to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for approval and fund allocation; and organize the uniform implementation of the Program nationwide.

Article 13. Inspection scope, subjects and regimes

1. Inspection scope, subjects and norms:

a/ Scope of inspection: The inspection program shall be implemented at fishing ports, fish markets and establishments purchasing, preliminarily processing, storing and preserving aquatic products nationwide.

b/ Subjects and norms of inspection

– For exploited aquatic products: To take samples for inspection of norms on microorganisms, heavy metals, preservative chemicals (urea, borax, sulphite, chloramphenicol), and natural toxic elements.

– For cultured aquatic products: To take samples for inspection of norms on preservative chemicals and microorganisms.

2. Inspection regimes:

a/ Regular inspection means ordinary inspection which is conducted:

– Once a year, for salted, frozen, dried and non-instant seafood: fish sauce, sauce or paste products and the like.

– Twice a year, for instant seafood, aquatic products produced from aquatic species with risks connected with their species.

b/ Irregular inspection means inspection which is conducted upon food hygiene and safety incidents or to meet management requirements of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Article 14. Sampling for inspection

1. Random sampling is applied.

2. Samples must be sealed with signatures of samplers and representatives of establishments where samples are taken. Without signatures of representatives of these establishments, sealed samples with signatures of samplers remain valid.

3. To make written records of sampling and preservation and send samples to laboratories designated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Article 15. Testing and notification of test results

1. Samples shall be analyzed by the methods applied by laboratories designated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

2. After having analysis results, laboratories shall send notices to sample-sending agencies (local examination agencies) and the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department.

Article 16. Handling of violations

When analysis results show that samples for post-harvest inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety fail to comply with relevant provisions or technical regulations, local examination agencies shall:

1. Notify establishments of unsatisfactory analysis results and request them to take appropriate remedies.

2. Set up a team for unexpected examination of food hygiene and safety assurance conditions of establishments and take samples for inspection if necessary. When inspected samples fail to meet requirements, handle or propose competent agencies to handle violations under current regulations and request establishments to take remedies, including recovery of products already marketed and proposing functional agencies to withdraw business licenses of these establishments.

3. If disagreeing with analysis results, within 3 days after receiving notices on these results, establishments may request another designated laboratory to analyze stored samples once again. These analysis results shall be considered, handled and concluded by the National Agro-Foreslry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department. Analysis expenses shall be paid by owners of establishments.

4. When there are sufficient evidences proving that products fail to comply with relevant provisions or technical regulations, or establishments fail to abide by requirements specified in notices, local examination agencies shall propose functional agencies to handle them under law and publish such on the mass media.

Chapter IV

RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS

Article 17. The Aquatic Resource Exploitation and Protection Department

1. To elaborate and submit to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for promulgation provisions and technical regulations on aquatic food hygiene and safety applicable to stages of fishing, preservation and transportation on board to ensure food hygiene and safety and guide their implementation nationwide;

2. To assume the prime responsibility for disseminating and training in methods of fishing, preservation and transportation on board to ensure food hygiene and safety;

3. To direct its Sub-Departments to coordinate with local examination agencies in conducting examination and inspection under Article 6 and handling fishing vessels that fail to maintain food hygiene and safety assurance conditions under Point a. Clause 1, Article 8 of this Circular.

Article 18. The Aquaculture Department

To assume the prime responsibility for elaborating and submitting to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for promulgation provisions and national regulations on aquaculture conditions to ensure food hygiene and safety for aquaculture establishments and guiding their implementation nationwide;

To guide, examine and certify aquaculture establishments for satisfaction of aquaculture conditions to ensure food hygiene and safety; to manage and grant registration numbers to each aquaculture establishment;

3. To annually announce a list of establishments under its management and a list of establishments recognized to have satisfied food hygiene and safety assurance conditions nationwide.

Article 19. The Animal Health Department

1. To elaborate and submit the Ministry for promulgation provisions and technical regulations on food hygiene and safety in aquatic product trading and preservation at fish markets and guide their implementation nationwide;

2. To assume the prime responsibility for disseminating and training in application of food hygiene and safety assurance methods for producers and traders at markets;

3. To coordinate with the Aquaculture Department in guiding aquaculture processes to ensure epidemic and food safety.

Article 20. The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department

1. To uniformly guide the implementation of national inspection programs; to regularly examine activities related to the national inspection program:

2. To review and propose the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to promulgate provisions, standards and technical regulations on aquatic food hygiene and safety within its assigned tasks and guide their implementation nationwide;

3. To provide professional training and guidance in food hygiene and safety examination for local examination agencies.

4. To annually coordinate with provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments in making a list of establishments under its management; to announce a list of establishments recognized to have satisfied food hygiene and safety assurance conditions nationwide;

5. To sum up and announce a list of laboratories designated to analyze aquatic food hygiene and safety norms.

Article 21. Provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments

1. To direct, guide and examine the implemen­tation of this Circular within their assigned tasks in localities under their management:

2. To review and propose the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (through line management departments) to amend and supplement standards and technical regulations on examination and inspection aquatic food hygiene and safety to suit practical conditions;

3. To coordinate with functional agencies in guiding, disseminating and training in knowledge on assurance of food hygiene and safety for subjects under their management.

Article 22. Examination agencies under provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments

1. To fully perform their assigned tasks under this Circular.

2. To systematically store all dossiers related to activities of aquatic food hygiene and safety-inspection for at least 2 years: to supply dossiers and fully and accurately explain examination-and inspection-related matters when so requested by provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments or the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department;

3. To annually announce lists of establish­ments under their management and lists of establishments recognized to have satisfied food hygiene and safety assurance conditions nationwide.

Article 23. Aquatic product producers and traders

1. To comply with and maintain food hygiene and safety assurance conditions under regulations.

2. To be subject to examination and inspection of aquatic food hygiene and safety by examination agencies and handling of violations by competent agencies.3. Fish market and fishing port management   ; units shall elaborate internal regulations on    : common responsibilities of fishing ports and fish markets and specify responsibilities of each    ; group of aquatic product producers and traders at ports and markets for complying with regulations on food hygiene and safety.

Article 24. Laboratories designated to analyze samples under national inspection programs

1. To comply with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s regulations applicable to designated laboratories;

2. To guarantee accurate and objective test results and notify these results on time; to take responsibility for their analysis results;

3. To notify analysis results for samples under national inspection programs only to examination agencies/sample-sending agencies and the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department.

Chapter VI

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 25. Effect

This Circular takes effect on November 22, 2009. All provisions which are contrary to this Circular are annulled.

Article 26. Amendment and supplementation

In the course of implementation, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department and provincial-level Agriculture and Rural Development Departments shall sum up comments and recommendations on problems arising in the implementation of this Circular and submit them to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for consideration and appropriate amendment and supplementation.

 

 

FOR THE MINISTER OF
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
DEPUTY MINISTER

Luong Le Phuong

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