Since the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) introduced its roadmap on simplification of business and investment requirements last September, the Vietnamese government has introduced several measures and changes to regulations to improve the work processes for businesses in various sectors.
For the Food Sector, the Vietnamese government has introduced Decree No 15/2018/ND-CP, which is an amendment of Decree No.38/2012/ND-CP on the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Food Safety. According to the new decree, food products, food additives that are already on the permitted list etc will only required to 'self-declare' the safety and quality of the food, and country of origin. Prior to introduction of this new declare, companies must submit product dossier to the authority for evaluation and approval. The process usually take an average of 1-2 months (there are even cases of 6 months approval lead time), due to constant back-fro amendment or supplementation of the product dossier at the request of the evaluation officers.
The new decree will cut down the pre-marketing approval lead time and improve the product speed to market. Such process is currently not applicable to food supplements and food with claims. We hope that the 'self-declaration' process will be extended to these products, especially those food supplements, with well established ingredients and claims in very near future.
Singapore's Food Authority, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has just issued a draft regulatory framework on Novel Food and Novel Food Ingredient. The proposed regulatory framework provides the definition and scope of novel foods, safety assessment criteria of novel foods and the processes involved for applications for the use of novel food. According to the proposed regulatory framework, the safety of novel food ingredients must be assessed prior to sales. Novel foods and novel food ingredients which have been assessed to be safe would also be listed in legislation, which is openly available to all members of the food industry. Members of the public are invited to provide comments on the proposed definition and categories of the novel food by 7th May 2018. Once the regulation is implemented, it will provide clarity on the regulatory process for new/innovative food ingredients in Singapore