[Translated from VASEP, find the original article here. We are not in anyway responsible for the content of this post]

On 08/03/2017, the NAFIQAD has officially requested the Food and Agriculture Inspectorate (FSIS) to initiate Equivalence assessment for the control system of Siluriformes (catfish, including pangasius, basa, mudcat, yellow mystus,..) from Vietnam. On the same day, NAFIQAD also sent a letter to the US Embassy in Vietnam requesting support, transferring files to FSIS.

The proposed equivalency assessment is carried out under the Fish and Fishery Products Inspection Program of FSIS promulgated by FSIS and effective from March 1 st, 2016, with transitional period until the end of August 31st, 017. Up to now, Vietnam has 62 establishments on the list of Siluriformes approved for export to this market.

According to FSIS, the equivalence assessment of an exporting country’s control system consists of six steps:
Step 1. The exporting country submits request to FSIS for an equivalence assessment
Step 2. The exporting country completes the self-reporting tool (SRT) and accompanying documentation
Step 3A. FSIS requires additional information
Step 3B. FSIS confirms the SRT was finalized, reviewing the records
Step 4. Actual inspection in the exporting country
Step 5. Notify draft assessment for comments
Step 6. Equivalence recognition (by a formal record)
Currently, according to FSIS’ website, Vietnam and  five other countries (Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Nigeria and Thailand) sent the equivalence assessment proposal and are in step 1 of the process.