In April 2021, the Vietnamese government made public a draft decree to amend Decree No. 43/2017/ND-CP of the Government dated April 14, 2017, on goods labeling (“Decree 43”), which is the primary legislation in Vietnam on the labeling requirements for domestically circulating goods and imported goods.
Some noteworthy differences between the draft and the current Decree 43 include the following:
1. Original labels for imported products
For imported goods, the draft adds a requirement on compulsory information for original labels, which is not mentioned in Decree 43. In particular, the original product label for goods being imported to circulate on the Vietnam market must contain the following compulsory information in a foreign language or in Vietnamese before customs clearance:
- Product name;
- Name and address of the entities responsible for the products;
- Product origin or place where the final production stage to complete the product was conducted. (If this information is not presented on the original product label, it must be included in the import documents accompanying the product.)
2. Vietnamese labels for imported products
Under the draft, if it is impossible to determine the product origin under rules/guidance on determining product origin in Vietnam, it is acceptable to instead indicate on the product label the place(s) where the final production stage to complete the product was conducted.
3. Nutritional information for food
Instead of being optional information as mentioned in Decree 43, “nutritional value” is compulsory information on labels for some food products under the draft. The Ministry of Health will have a roadmap for carrying out nutritional labeling and will provide appropriate guidance to manufacturers and importers, as well as issue regulations on types of food that are partially or entirely exempt from declaration of nutritional value.
The draft has not yet been finalized and is subject to further revision; no expected date of issuance has been announced.