US Companies Warned about Offal Exports to VN

VIET NAM - Last month, a decree was issued by the prime minister of Viet Nam declaring a temporary ban on all imports of red meat offal and poultry offal.
calendar icon 3 August 2010
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Despite extensive efforts by the USDA office in Hanoi and the foreign embassies of several other meat-exporting countries, no copy of this document has been made available.

US Meat Export Federation says that this has created a very confusing and uncertain situation, as no guidance has been issued on the definition of offal, how long the ban may last, or any of the other specific details normally associated with this type of government action.

The ban was ostensibly put in place to prevent entry of imported offal products that may not be safe for consumption. With no specific guidance or details, however, it is difficult to say whether this action targets any particular products or problem areas.

Meetings on this matter have been held this week between US and Vietnamese officials, and USDA continues to seek more specific information. No decision has been made, however, on whether to amend the FSIS Export Library or take any other official action.

Until more information becomes available, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) urges exporters to use extreme caution when shipping any product to Vietnam that could fall under a broad definition of “offal.”

USMEF is working closely with USDA on this matter, and will issue further guidance when more information is available. We are aware that this is a frustrating and confusing situation, but every effort is being made to bring a positive outcome to this matter.

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