Vietnam revises directive regulating alcohol imports

Vietnam revises directive regulating alcohol imports

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The Vietnamese government has issued new guidelines governing alcohol trading, particularly concerning importing the substance, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The agency said a new regulation, Decree no.105/2017/ND-CP dated September 14, 2017, has been signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, replacing Decree no.94/2012/ND-CP dated November 12, 2012 and containing some new instructions on importing alcohol.

One of these directives is that alcohol importers do not have to submit the additional documentary requirement described as a “written appointment or authorization as an official distributor or importer of the producer or trader, or the agent contract of the producer or trader of those items,” said Vietnam Customs.

Additionally, enterprises, including those not yet granted with licenses to mass produce or distribute alcohol, shall be allowed to import alcohol up to a maximum quantity of 3 liters if they apply for the “receipt of technical conformity announcement” or “certificate of safety conformity announcement.” In this case, trading of the imported product in the market is forbidden.

Only enterprises with “alcohol distribution license” are allowed to import alcohol, and they must be responsible for the quality and safety of the imported alcohol, said Vietnam Customs.

If importing semi-finished alcohol, enterprises can only sell to enterprises which have “industrial alcohol production license.” Enterprises with this license “are allowed to import or entrust the import of semi-finished alcohol for the production of alcohol,” said the agency.

Besides these, imported alcohol must meet certain prescribed conditions, including that it must be labeled and stamped in ways that comply with regulations.

Alcohol must also be granted with either a receipt of technical conformity announcement or a certificate of safety conformity announcement before it is imported, said Vietnam Customs.

Imported alcohol must also meet regulations on safety of imported food upon state inspection.

Lastly, alcohol may be imported into Vietnam only through the international border.

The agency said Decree no.105 does not apply to alcohol for export, temporary import for re-export, temporary export for re-import, border-gate transfer, or transit; and alcohol imported for sale in duty-free shops.

Photo: Jack Moreh

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