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Foreign firms in Vietnam ask for fire prevention certification

Foreign firms in Vietnam ask for fire prevention certification

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 10:19 GMT+7
Foreign firms in Vietnam ask for fire prevention certification
A photo shows Dong Nai police officers participating in a fire drill. Photo: Supplied by the Police Department

Many foreign business associations in Vietnam have written to the Vietnamese government, the prime minister, the Ministry of Public Security and other relevant ministries proposing lifting obstacles preventing firms from getting a certificate of fire prevention and fighting.

Takahisa Onose, chairman of the Japanese Business Association in Ho Chi Minh City, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday that many enterprises of the association found it tough to gain a fire safety certificate.

The association has worked with the Ministry of Public Security to put forwards solutions to the problem.

Hard to apply new standards of fire prevention and fighting

The Japanese Business Association in Vietnam had earlier, on behalf of the Japanese Business Association in Ho Chi Minh City, sent a dispatch to Minister of Public Security To Lam proposing issuing certificates of fire prevention and fighting to producers and warehouse owners quickly to facilitate their business and operation activities in the country.

The Japanese side said that the Vietnamese government issued Decree 136 stipulating articles and measures to implement Law on Fire Prevention and Fighting and Law on amendments and supplements of some articles of the former, effective from January 10, 2021.

After the issuance of the decree, the Japanese Business Association received a petition from its members for difficulties in getting a certificate of fire prevention and fighting.

Many newly-built or expanded plants and warehouses in Vietnam failed to start operation due to their inability to obtain fire safety certificates.

The design of facilities and fire prevention equipment was approved by competent agencies after a license for construction had been issued.

However, it is a challenge for firms to meet requirements with big changes in line with prevailing regulations.

Furthermore, Decree 136 took effect only 45 days after an announcement was released, making it hard for the owners of plants and warehouses to adhere to new standards.

The Japanese side called for special measures to speed up the issuance of fire prevention and fighting certificates, including the application of regulations at Decree 79 dated in 2014.

A survey conducted by the Japanese Business Association showed that 18 projects worth some VND3.1 trillion (US$132.2 million) were affected at the time of the dispatch sent to the Vietnamese agencies.

The South Korean Embassy had earlier sent dispatches to the Vietnamese government’s office, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Construction asking for help due to the lateness of fire safety certification.

South Korean enterprises cry for help

The South Korean Embassy also proposed that Vietnam should promptly take action to tackle the bottleneck.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KOCHAM) in Vietnam told Tuoi Tre that many South Korean firms which intended to make new investments and expand their operations in Vietnam asked for help due to new stringent regulations on fire safety certification.

Accordingly, investors find it hard to expand their operational plants, as the certificates of fire prevention and fighting and construction completion issued for initial facilities contradict tightened prevailing regulations.

For instance, in the past, firms did not face hindrances over fire safety certification when using either a gypsum board or fireproof paint for walls at their factories. However, they are now required to use fire-resistant gypsum boards.

Therefore, rising costs of construction and new regulations on fire prevention and fighting piled pressure on firms, when they widen their facilities.

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Tieu Bac - Tien Long / Tuoi Tre News


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