MAA 2020-13: Vietnam: Refrigerated agricultural produce: Testing of packaging for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

Date of issue: 30 November 2020

Date of effect: Immediate

Reference Number: MAA2020-13

Attention:

  • Industries—Industry bodies - Dairy Australia, Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee, Seafood Export Consultative Committee, Australian Food and Grocery Council
  • Export establishments
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment —Central and Regional offices

Purpose

This Market Access Advice (MAA) provides information on the directive released by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MoH) regarding Novel Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) testing requirements for consignments of imported food subject to cold storage into Vietnam.

Summary of key points

  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has become aware of the directive, Implementation of control measures for food imported from countries affected by COVID-19 epidemic (6487/BYT-AATP), issued by Vietnam’s MoH.  
  • The department understands that the directive has been sent to several Vietnamese agencies and requests authorities to apply control measures on food imported from countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (especially frozen food).
  • This may include carrying out sample testing on packaging.
  • There is no scientifically verified means to conduct this type of testing. Further, the department would like to reassure all establishments exporting product to Vietnam that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through food products and packaging is unlikely; as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the department’s stance on this remains unchanged.
  • The department has not been formally notified of the directive, and continues to seek clarification on implementation and will advise exporters once more information is available.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment encourages all exporters to work with their importer to ensure that product meets the current importing country requirements.

Further information

Contact exportstandards@awe.gov.au if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 30 November 2020
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