THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION - THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH - THE MINISTRY OF TRADE - THE VIETNAM COMMITTEE FOR CHILD PROTECTION AND CARE
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
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No: 18-TT/LB
Hanoi, November 03, 1994
 INTER-MINISTERIAL CIRCULAR
GUIDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISION No. 307-TTg OF THE PRIME MINISTER ON THE 10TH OF JUNE 1994 PROVIDING FOR SOME QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE TRADE IN AND USE OF SUBSTITUTES FOR BREAST MILK IN SUPPORT OF BREAST FEEDING
Pursuant to Decision No. 307-TTg of the Prime Minister on the 10th of June 1994 providing for some questions related to the and use of substitutes for breast milk in support of breast feeding.
The Ministries of Public Health, Trade, Culture and Information, and the Vietnam Committee for Child Protection and Care provide the following guidance on the implementation of the Decision:
I - GENERAL PROVISIONS:
1. The substitutes for breast milk are milk and foods produced for children by industrial or handicraft methods for use as full or particle substitutes for breast milk, including products prepared from milk products, cereals, vegetable compound, fruit juice, and different kinds of concoctions, the milk bottle and teats.
2. Those organizations which produce, trade in, export and import substitutes for breast milk must ensure the quality and hygienic standards of these products as stipulated by the Ministry of Public Health.
3. Publicity and education are an important measure for carrying out the Prime Minister's Decision No. 307-TTg on the 10th of June 1994. The Ministry of Culture and Information, the Vietnam Committee for Child Protection and Care, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Trade must cooperate with the mass media, the Vietnam Women's Union, the Vietnam Peasants' Association and other social organizations to organize a publicity and education campaign to convince the mothers of the superiority of breast milk and to persist in breast feeding.
4. The information and advertisement about substitutes for breast milk must comply with the law on information and advertisement and the stipulations of this Circular.
II.- SPECIFIC STIPULATIONS ON THE TRADING OF SUBSTITUTES FOR BREAST MILK:
1. The Ministry of Trade will issue a permit for the import of breast milk substitutes only after getting the consent of the Ministry of Public Health.
2. The procedure of considering the granting of a permit for the import of substitutes for breast milk:
a/ Any business applying for the import of substitutes for breast milk must send a complete dossier as stipulated by the Ministry of Trade to the Ministry of Public Health for approval. Within 20 days after receiving the dossier, the Ministry of Public Health must consider it and send its opinion to the Ministry of Trade (the Permit-Issuing Bureau).
b/ Within 15 days at the latest after receiving the dossier and the written opinion of the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Trade must consider whether or not to grant the permit. If it refuses to grant the permit, it must give a written reply saying clearly the reason why.
3. When a business which is permitted to import substitutes for breast milk want to import these products, it must send samples and the dossier of the product (as enclosed appendix) to the Ministry of Public Health. After receiving a paper from the Ministry of Public Health verifying that the samples meet the hygienic and safety standards set for foods, the business concerned may come to the Permit-Issuing Bureau of the Ministry of Trade at the locality where its Head-office is based to receive the permit without having to go to the Ministry of Trade.
4. The items listed in the contract for the import of substitutes for breast milk must be on the list to which the Ministry of Public Health has given its approval and the Ministry of Trade has granted an import permit.
III.- STIPULATIONS ON THE INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND ADVERTISEMENT OF SUBSTITUTES FOR BREAST MILK:
1. Any trade fair or commercial exhibition related to substitutes for breast milk organized in Vietnam must have a permit from the Ministry of Trade after getting the approval of the Ministry of Public Health.
2. Any information program on the protection of the health of mothers and children must give priority to the information on the benefits of breast feeding and on the methods of nursing babies and children.
3. The mass media must report truthfully and fully on the benefits of breast milk for babies and children, and on the necessity to use substitutes for breast milk only as directed by the medical staff.
4. The advertisement for substitutes for breast milk must abide by the prescriptions at Article 4 and 5 of the Prime Minister's Decision No. 307-TTg on the 10th of June 1994.
5. The labels of substitutes for breast milk and their advertisement should not contain any comment or picture encouraging the trading and use of these products, or saying that these products are as nutritious as breast milk, or can fully replace breast milk.
6. No organization or individual is allowed to advertise or exhibit substitutes for breast milk at medical institutions.
IV.- PROVISIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION:
1. The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Vietnam Committee for Child Protection and Care must make known Decision No.307-TTg and this Circular to their affiliate organizations and all localities, and at the same time, cooperate with one another in carrying out the stipulations concerned and increase their inspection and supervision to ensure that breast feeding should be maintained and encouraged and that the substitutes for breast milk should be used rationally.
2. Anyone who infringes on the stipulations of this Circular will be disciplined, fined or investigated for penal liability, depending on extent of the violation. If he/she causes damage, he/she must compensate for it in accordance with law. The fine for such infringement will be exacted in accordance with Point 3, Article 11, of the Prime Minister's Decision No.307-TTg on the 10th of June 1994.
3. This Circular takes effect upon the date of its signing.
While carrying out this Circular, if there is any difficulty, please report it to the Ministries concerned for study, modification or supplementation.
 
FOR THE MINISTER OF TRADE
VICE-MINISTER



Nguyen Xuan Quang
FOR THE MINISTER OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION
VICE-MINISTER


Vu Khac Lien
FOR THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH
VICE-MINISTER




Dr. Tran Thi Trung Chien
FOR THE MINISTER-CHARWOMAN OF THE VIETNAM
COMMITTEE FOR CHILD PROTECTION AND CARE
VICE-CHAIRMAN



Phung Ngoc Hung