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Ministry wants to ban beer sale via machines, websites

Thursday, September 04, 2014, 15:29 GMT+7
Ministry wants to ban beer sale via machines, websites
In this file photo, bottles of beer are seen on a dining table at a bar in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has finalized a draft beer decree which bans selling beer on the sidewalk and via websites or through vending machines, with an aim to minimize harmful effects of alcoholic abuse.

>> District gov’t in central Vietnam encourages residents to drink locally made beer The ministry is collecting opinions for its  the draft decree, which was prepared to guide the implementation of Decree 244/QD-TTg  dated  February 12, 2014 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on the national policy on preventing harms of abusing alcoholic beverages by 2020. Beer will be banned from trading at different locations, including schools, hospitals, public offices and the pavements. Beer is prohibited to be sold to people under 18 years old, people with signs of being under the influence of alcohol, pregnant and lactating women, and people with diseases caused by alcoholic abuse. Under the proposal, beer is not allowed to be sold online or through automatic vending machines. Also according to the decree, all beer products, whether domestically produced or imported, must be stamped to show their legality. All producers of beer must obtain licenses for production and are required to show on the product labels the ingredients and the alcohol concentrations, and even the possible effects of beer abuse. Article 16 of the draft law document stipulates cases of violation of the regulations. They include producing beer without a license, trading beer produced by unlicensed producers; transporting or consuming beer products without labels or with improper labels; not registering declarations of conformity or declarations of compliance with regulations on food safety, or not stamping products, among other acts. Good management of beer production, trade and consumption will bring a lot of benefits to the society, including more jobs generated, more health effects if beer is moderately taken, and more tax revenue to the State budget. According to calculations of the ministry, the above new regulations will help strengthen control over production, trade and consumption of beer, bringing to the State budget an additional revenue in tax of about VND3,150 billion (US$148.6 million) per year. In addition, the decree will contribute to limiting the randomly opening of beer outlets, fighting fake or poor quality of beer that are harmful to health, driving back domestic violence caused by  abuse of beer or alcoholic drinks, and reducing public disorder disturbances and road traffic accidents caused by people under the influence of alcohol.  

Vietnam ranks third in beer drinking in Asia

With more than three billion liters of beer consumed in the country in 2013, Vietnam ranked third in Asia in beer consumption, after Japan and China, according to the Vietnamese Health Ministry.

The consumption of beer of Vietnamese people has increased by 200 percent over the past 10 years, the ministry said.

According to many studies, beer and other alcoholic drinks are the 10th leading cause of mortality worldwide.

According to the statistics of the ministry’s Institute for Health Strategy and Policy, 4.4 percent of the Vietnamese population suffers from consequences of abusing beer and other alcoholic drinks.

A recent survey on the health of young people aged 14-15 shows that 69 percent of men and 28 percent of women in these ages once drank beer or alcohol.

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