New decree introduces stricter rules on rice export

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Vietnamese rice exporters have to meet new conditions including storehouse capacity and maintenance of reserves under a decree that takes effect on January 1 next year.

Beside the requirement that rice exporters must register their businesses legally, they must have at least one storehouse with a minimum capacity of 5,000 tons and have at least one rice mill able to process a minimum of 10 tons per hour.

The decree also requires that the warehoouse and rice mill be located in provinces or cities where the rice is grown in or shipped from.

Exporters must maintain reserves of at least 10 percent of the export volume of the preceding six consecutive months, the decree stipulates.

For the first nine months starting January 1, companies will be allowed to ship the grain without meeting the new requirements, but from October 1, 2011 onwards, firms without a permission certificate issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade will not be allowed to continue their exports.

Foreign-invested trading firms that have been working before January 1, 2011 will not be affected by the decree.

Whenever exporters want to buy rice, they have to inform the provincial and municipal People's Committees about the purchase spots so that farmers can trade directly with them, the decree stipulates.

Rice is Vietnam's top foreign exchange earner among its exportable agricultural products.

Rice exports in the first 10 months of this year increased 5.8 percent from a year ago to an estimated 5.71 million tons, and revenues jumped 10.8 percent to US$2.67 billion, the government said late last month.

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