Vietnam Regualtory Brief: Antibiotic Imports and Asset Disclosures
Antibiotics import norms to be tightened
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently issued regulations to tighten import of antibiotics to prevent their use in the breeding of sea animals. However, a list of 57 government approved antibiotic substances can be imported to produce veterinary medicines, which are certified or legally permitted in Vietnam. Importers applying for licenses are required to furnish details of previous shipments and cannot sell to veterinary medicine dealers, breeders, and farmers, but only to licensed veterinary medicine manufacturers.
The stricter food safety norms come after Vietnamese seafood exports (heading mostly for Japan and EU) were returned last year due to chemical contamination and high antibiotic residue levels. To control the overuse of certain antibiotics, Vietnam’s Veterinary Department has ceased issuing import licenses, imposing a temporary suspension of operations for six firms involved in antibiotics trading.
Bank shareholders required to disclose assets
Vietnam will soon introduce a law requiring the full disclosure of incomes and assets by large shareholders of privately owned banks. The new law aims to clean up the country’s banking system, which has the highest ratio of non-performing loans in Southeast Asia. In the last few years, bad debts have impeded the country’s economy growth with non-performing loans in 2012 rising to 11 percent of the country’s GDP at US$12.5 billion (VND 280 trillion).
In order to keep a check on stock manipulation and bad debt, the Vietnamese State Bank will be introducing regulations compelling stockholders of major banks to disclose details about their stock ownership. If the government finds any irregularities in their finances, bank executives will not be able to join the board of other firms.
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