Ministry cracking down on ‘Made in Vietnam’ fraud

09:05 | 29/03/2019 Society

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department is warning of increased trade fraud by labeling products as “Made-in-Vietnam”, which could open up legitimate manufacturers to anti-dumping investigations.

ministry cracking down on made in vietnam fraud
Electric bicycle exports to the EU increased sharply in 2018

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first 11 months of 2018, more than 138,000 electric bicycles were exported from Vietnam to the EU, up 47 percent from the same period in 2017. Increased exports and the EC’s antidumping investigation of electric bicycles imported from China may lead to tax evasion investigations against a number of Vietnamese exporters. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has strengthened the inspection and supervision of the issuance of Vietnamese goods origin certificates to prevent fake certificates.

In 2018, not only electric bicycle exports but also steel, iron, solar panel, plywood, and seafood material exports increased 20-47 percent in value compared to the previous year. This considerable growth led to 19 tax evasion investigations of Vietnamese exports.

Vietnam is a partner in many free trade agreements, most recently the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that went into effect in January. Under those agreements, import taxes will be lowered or zeroed, encouraging imitation of Vietnamese origin certificates.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working on a plan to prevent goods origin trade fraud with a focus on strict control of exports and imports.

The ministry will work with the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the Ministry of Finance to supervise exports to some markets in order to provide early warnings of an increase in exports so state management agencies, business associations and enterprises can take action if necessary.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is gathering opinions on goods labeling from related ministries and agencies while working with them to strengthen the inspection and supervision of the issuance of Vietnamese origin certificates for exports.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that relevant authorities heighten penalties for violators. Fines

imposed for trade fraud amount to no more than VND200 million per violation, enabling violators to earn billions of

dong in illegal profits from each deal. Many countries impose heavier punishments for violations. For example,

producers who label “Made in Italy” on leather products that do not meet established criteria are fined up to

US$113,000.

Bao Ngoc