ARLINGTON, VA. — Vietnam poses an opportunity for US pet food processors to expand their international footprints. To this end, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has commended new international regulations by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that support dry pet food exports to the country.

The new regulations, which include an updated health certificate for dry pet food products, will facilitate more consistent and transparent product shipments from the United States to Vietnam, according to AFIA.

“For years, the AFIA has urged APHIS to finalize its health certificate for exporting dry pet food products to Vietnam to make it easier for US companies to do business there,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of AFIA. “APHIS’s negotiated export health certificates provide a clear and comprehensive set of guidelines for US exporters to follow and ensure their products meet the standards required by foreign governments.

“By complying with these regulations, US exporters can minimize the risk of their products being rejected or banned from foreign markets and ensure the continued success of their export business.”

According to US Census Bureau trade data shared by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), US dog and cat food exports to Vietnam valued $655,000 in 2022, up 20.4% from $544,000 in 2021. Historically, US dog and cat food exports to the Southeast Asian country have significantly declined from $2.81 million in 2018, hitting a low point in 2020 at $295,000, but have showed incremental increases in 2021 and 2022.

The AFIA shared Vietnam’s growing middle class — many of which are pet owners — are looking increasingly to healthier complete-and-balanced diets for their pets, and processors in the United States are well-positioned to deliver. The association shared Vietnam’s total pet food imports have increased 69% over the last five years, and while US pet food trade involvement in the country remains slow, the removal of this regulatory roadblock instills hope for future market access.

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