The Plant Protection Department confirmed that the content related to dragon fruit exports to the UK is just in the draft and there are no new regulations.
On July 11, the UK announced the start of a review and draft amendment to Regulation 2019/2023 on the temporary increase of official and emergency controls on some imported goods, including dragon fruit from Vietnam.
Dragon fruit exports to the UK keep following the current regulations.
Accordingly, the UK moves the inspection of dragon fruit from Appendix 2 – List of foods subject to origin control carried out in the exporting country (often called export with certificates) to Appendix 1 – List of foods not subject to origin control, only checked at the border gate of the importing country. The UK also increases the inspection frequency (sampling, analysis of food safety indicators) from 20% to 50% at the border gate.
Immediately after receiving the notice, the Plant Protection Department synthesized data on dragon fruit export inspection at border gates and reviewed the warning information for dragon fruit in the EU and the UK.
Based on the results of the review and actual assessment, the Department of Protection found that the UK’s move of dragon fruit control measures from Appendix 2 to Appendix 1 was a reduction in control level.
Talking to Vietnam Agricultural Newspaper, a representative of the Department of Plant Protection said that the UK’s change is a regular and periodic review of countries on food safety inspection of imported goods. Moreover, the contents of the new notice are only draft.
“The fact that the UK has proposed to move dragon fruit to Appendix 1 proves that they value food safety control in Vietnam better than before,” a representative of the Department of Protection and Protection said.
However, this proposal is accompanied by an increase in the frequency of border checks to 50%, instead of remaining at 20% as in the EU. This will affect the reputation of Vietnam’s dragon fruit products more than origin control measures, and increase the cost of inspection and warehousing for exporters.
A 400g dragon fruit can be sold at 150,000-200,000 VND in the UK.
On that basis, the Department of Plant Protection sent Official Letter No. 1892/BVTV-ATTP dated July 26 to the UK Food Safety Authority (FSA and FSS) asking to keep the food safety control measures with dragon fruit. At the same time, it is requested that the UK provide evidence and risk warning frequency of Vietnam’s dragon fruit.
“The Department is willing to immediately review the risk assessment document of the UK and Scotland on changing the method of food safety inspection applied to dragon fruits of Vietnam when receiving the document to have an early response “, the Department of Plant Protection emphasized.
While waiting for feedback and further information from partners, the Department of Plant Protection requests organizations and individuals to strictly control records and documents on phytosanitary and food safety for dragon fruit before exporting to ensure compliance with UK import regulations.
For producers, the Department recommends good control of the planting area and fully implementing measures to monitor and ensure food hygiene and safety.
For exporters, the Department notes the full and accurate implementation of UK and EU regulations on dragon fruit, as well as related issues in the UKVFTA and EVFTA Agreements.
The Department of Plant Protection is committed to providing sufficient evidence, scientific data, and legal basis related to the UK’s competent authorities so that they can continue to apply current regulations for dragon fruit imported from Vietnam.
Because Vietnam’s dragon fruit exports to the UK still comply with current regulations and there are no new regulations, the Department requests the news agencies and the press to closely coordinate to report accurate news, avoid causing misunderstandings that affect the prestige and quality of Vietnam’s agricultural products./.