Vietnam aims to crack down on online trade in fake goods

09:04 | 22/05/2019 Trade

(VEN) - The proliferation of fake goods and violations of intellectual property rights has spread with the increase in online shopping sites. To address the issue and discuss solutions, the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency and the Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade held a recent training workshop on protection of consumer rights in e-commerce.

vietnam aims to crack down on online trade in fake goods

Increasing fake goods trade

According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency, Vietnam’s e-commerce has grown 25-30 percent a year. In the digital economy, the revenue through e-commerce channels was five times higher than that of average GDP growth.

At the same time, these online platforms have opened up opportunities for expanded trade in fake goods, said Tran Huu Linh, director general of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance. In 2018, the Hanoi Department of Market Surveillance handled violations valued at nearly a half billion Vietnamese dong.

Authorities handled more than 1.2 million violations of fake goods appearing online valued at VND92 trillion since 2015. Ministry of Science and Technology Deputy Chief Inspector Nguyen Nhu Quynh said up to 60 percent of cases examined were for violations of intellectual property rights on e-commerce platforms in 2018.

Updating legal sanctions

To protect consumers, greater coordination is required between units of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and state management agencies in the fight against fake goods and intellectual property violations online. E-commerce sites must also be held accountable for preventing the sale of fake goods.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An said trade of fake goods on e-commerce platforms occurs in many countries. In Vietnam, such shortcomings are partly due to the legal framework. The regulations on administrative punishments in e-commerce (Decree 52) were issued six years ago and have not been updated for this new form of business. Unless the legal framework is updated to include heavier sanctions, the issue will not be resolved, causing state budget losses and affecting customers, An said.

Nguyen Huu Tuan, head of the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency’s e-commerce management division, suggested completing legal regulations, reviewing and classifying e-commerce websites to better manage the market, strengthening inspection and handling of violations, and promoting dissemination of legal policies.

The Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency will coordinate with the Vietnam Directorate of Market

Surveillance to review and classify e-commerce websites in order to eliminate poor-quality goods sold online. A

system will be established to receive complaints online and send them to authorities for handling as well as provide

warnings to customers.

Lan Anh