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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Vietnam’s standard system to be harmonized with int’l standards

By N. Tan

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HCMC – The National Standardization Strategy for 2030 has set a target for Vietnam’s harmonization ratio with international, regional and foreign standards to achieve at least 65% by 2025 and rise to 75% by 2030.

According to the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, Vietnam’s current national standard system with over 13,500 standards in most economic sectors has the harmonization ratio of over 60% with regional and international standards.

Despite a remarkable number of national standards, Vietnam’s Global Quality Infrastructure Index only scored 54, behind many countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Currently, Vietnam’s national standards are built and managed by the 13 ministries; however, the standards were developed with a lack of long-term orientation and consistency between ministries, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

Given that Vietnam is integrating into the world’s economy by joining the WTO, ASEAN and APEC and becoming signatories to new-generation free trade agreements such as CPTPP, EVFTA and RCEP, the enforcement of these treaties may cause Vietnamese businesses’ production, trading and exportation to face many strict regulations on standards and technical specifications in foreign markets.

According to the Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2022 alone, Vietnam received nearly 1,000 notices from importing countries relating to food hygiene and animal inspection, a 10% increase compared to 2021.

The SPS advised raising Vietnam’s harmonization ratio with international standards to respond to trade barriers imposed by the FTA’s member countries and reduce the number of violations.

To meet the Government’s target by 2030, Vietnam needs to expedite issuing the standardization strategy, striving to become a member of the International Organization for Standardization, a full member of the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2025.

The country also needs to complete building a database for the national standard system and integrate its digital infrastructure with ministries, departments and localities.

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