Food safety offenders may face up to 20 years imprisonment

By Bao Ha   April 15, 2016 | 09:08 am GMT+7

From July 1, anyone who uses banned substances or processes and distributes food known to be unhygienic could receive fines of up to VND200 million ($9,000) and as many as 20 years in prison. 

Vietnam’s Criminal Code 2015 will come into effect on July 1, introducing new penalties for violating regulations related to food hygiene and safety.

Violating regulations on hygiene and food safety

A fine of VND50 million to VND200 million or a prison sentence from one year to five years will be imposed for the following:

1. Using banned substances in production, preparing, processing and storing food or knowingly selling and distributing food products containing banned substances.

2. Using chemicals, antibiotics, veterinary drugs and pesticides banned in farming, animal husbandry and aquaculture, salt production or preserving food products that leave residue that exceeds the permitted threshold.

3. Using chemicals, antibiotics, veterinary drugs, pesticides and environmental treatments that are not on the list of permitted substances, have unknown origin or are misused leading to excess residue.

4. Knowingly processing, distributing or selling food products that do not meet hygiene and safety standards; and using chemicals and additives of unknown origin in food products that damage at least one person’s health with bodily injuries from 31 to 60 percent.

If any of the above actions leads to somebody’s death or is repeated and dangerous, the penalty may be extended to three to 20 years imprisonment, compared to the maximum of 15 years in the old law. The fine would also be higher, reaching up to VND500 million. 

food-safety-offenders-may-face-up-to-20-years-imprisonment

Production and trade of counterfeit animal feed, fertilizer, veterinary drugs, pesticides, plant varieties and animal breeds

Counterfeit products valued from VND20 million to VND150 million, counterfeit products valued at less than VND20 million that have already been fined will be fined from VND100 million to VND1 billion or one to five years imprisonment.

The most severe sentence for this crime could be as much as 20 years imprisonment, up five years compared to the old law. If a legal entity is involved, it could be fined from VND1 billion to VND15 billion and suspended or even shut down.

Production and trade of counterfeit food products and additives

Anyone trading such products could face two to five years imprisonment. A life sentence will be imposed if the offender has illicitly profited at least VND1.5 billion; caused the death of at least two people; damaged the health of at least two people with bodily injuries of over 61 percent each; or caused property damage totaling at least VND1.5 billion.

Other penalties include a fine from VND20 million to VND100 million, a ban from holding certain posts or jobs from one to five years and confiscation of property.

For offenders that are commercial entities, fines range from VND1 billion to VND18 billion, permanent suspension, a ban from operating in certain industries or a ban from raising funds from one to three years.

Production or trade of banned goods

Production and trade of chemicals, antibiotics, veterinary drugs and pesticides banned (or not included in the permitted list) from use in farming, animal husbandry, aquaculture, salt production, preparation, processing and preservation of food products will be fined from VND100 million to VND1 billion or receive one to five years imprisonment.

Storing and transporting banned goods

Storing and transporting chemicals, antibiotics, veterinary drugs and pesticides banned (or not included in the permitted list) from use in farming, animal husbandry, aquaculture, salt production, preparation, processing and preservation of food products will be fined from VND50 million to VND300 million or receive from six months to three years imprisonment.

 
 
go to top