Strategy set to bridge major gap between domestic, international standards

Monday, May 08, 2023 07:30

Viet Nam s pomelos are exported to the US market in 2022. — Photo

The National Standardisation Strategy for 2030 has set a target of raising Viet Nam’s harmonisation ratio with international, regional and foreign standards to at least 65 per cent by 2025 and 75 per cent by 2030.

As Viet Nam is integrating into the global economy, and is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, as well as new-generation free trade agreements, the country has to observe stringent regulations and requirements on technical standards in foreign markets.

In fact, Vietnamese goods draw warnings from foreign countries repeatedly due to their failure in satisfying technical standards and barriers set by importers.

The Viet Nam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS Viet Nam) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that last year it received nearly 1,000 notices relating to food safety and animal and plant quarantine. The complaints are up 10 per cent year-on-year, mostly from Japan with 83 notices, followed by Brazil, the EU, Canada, and the US.

To handle this issue, Viet Nam must raise its standards harmonisation ratio toward international acceptance.

According to the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, Viet Nam’s current national standards system, with over 13,500 standards in most economic sectors, has a harmonisation ratio of over 60 per cent with regional and international standards.

Despite a remarkable number of national standards, Viet Nam’s Global Quality Infrastructure Index scored only 54, behind many countries such as China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Currently, its national standards are built and managed by 13 ministries. However, the process has shown a lack of long-term orientations and consistency among them.

The SPS suggested Viet Nam raise its harmonisation ratio with international standards to respond to trade barriers imposed by other member countries of the FTAs and reduce violations.

To meet the Government’s target by 2030, Viet Nam needs to quickly build and issue the standardisation strategy, striving to become a member of the International Organization for Standardisation, and the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2025.

The country also needs to complete building a database for the national standardisation system and complete the digital infrastructure connected with ministries, agencies and localities. — VNS

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