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Jun. 7, 2012

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Jun. 7, 2012

Vietnam drafted new decree to classify fertilizer

Fertilizers will be classified into ten groups depending on ingredients under a decree being drafted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This aims to tighten administrative oversight over fertilizer production, import and export.

The ministry is gathering comments on the draft, which would replace Government Decree No 191 issued in 2007. Under the draft, each group of fertilizers would be divided into different subgroups with detailed regulations on their ingredients.

"The decree's strict regulations are necessary as a great number of fake and low-quality fertilizers are on the market, causing losses for farmers," said the ministry's deputy chief inspector, Dang Nhat Tan.

Ministry inspections last year showed that over half of the fertilizers on the market were substandard or fake, he said. Most recently, ministry inspectors discovered the Viet Phap Science, Technology and Investment Corporation in Ha Noi's Thanh Tri District producing over 60 tonnes of NPK fertilizer fraudulently under the trademark of the Lam Thao Fertilisers and Chemicals Joint Stock Co.

The draft decree would regulate that enterprises can only produce fertilizers when they have received business registration certificates or investment certificates. The enterprises would be required to make environmental impact assessment reports and ensure workplace safety conditions and hygiene. They would be required to have certified quality management systems, including quality testing and proper manufacturing process for different materials as well as publication that they have met standards.

Fertilizer would be required to go to market accompanied by legal vouchers and clear certificates of origin. The product must be packaged in clear wrapping with regulated trademarks, and imported fertilizers must bear certifications from national inspection agencies.

Leaders of fertilizer manufacturing enterprises were already complaining that the proposed regulations were too tight and would make it difficult for companies to turn a profit and recover their investments.

Truong Quang Ha, deputy director of the Hung Thinh Fertiliser Co Ltd in HCM City's Phu Nhuan District, said it was already regulated that enterprises have business registration certificates and certified quality management systems, but it took about a year to apply for and receive the certificates.

"The State should simplify all procedures for certificates to create good conditions for enterprises to comply with the decree," Ha said.

The ministry is gathering comments on the draft, which would replace Government Decree No 191 issued in 2007.

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