Vietnam cracks down on certificates of origin fraud

09:37 | 05/12/2019 Trade

(VEN) - In addition to simplifying certificate of origin (C/O) issuance procedures, the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade is promoting cooperation with relevant agencies to strengthen management of C/O issuance in order to curb fraud.

vietnam cracks down on certificates of origin fraud

Phan Van Chinh, director of the Agency of Foreign Trade, said C/O is an important document to help goods enjoy preferential tariffs under free trade agreements. Responding to this demand, Vietnam has simplified the C/O issuance procedures.

In the first half of the year, C/O issuance agencies granted 426,768 sets of C/Os worth US$27.25 billion, an increase of seven percent in number and 20 percent in value compared to a year ago. Instead of issuing C/O in a traditional way, the Agency of Foreign Trade has provided electronic C/O declaration and applied C/O issuance via the internet.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has created favorable conditions for import-export firms to apply for preferential C/O issuance, saving cost and time.

However, major incentives under free trade agreements have resulted in the counterfeiting of C/Os, especially for items such as automobile tires, shrimp, aluminum, steel, wood, and ceramic tiles. Facing the sudden increase of plywood exports to the US, the Ministry of Industry and Trade submitted a document to the prime minister on strengthening management immediately after another document sent to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

According to Phan Van Chinh, the Agency of Foreign Trade regularly exchanges information and warns C/O issuance agencies about high-risk items for origin fraud. In addition, the agency often organizes inspection teams to verify the origin of goods at production facilities when there is a question of origin fraud.

The Agency of Foreign Trade has also requested the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to closely examine C/O applications for key commodities exported to the US, especially for goods manufactured and processed from imported Chinese materials. Each month, VCCI is responsible for sending a report on C/O issuance for exports to the US to the Agency of Foreign Trade, specifying the quantity, value and types of goods.

The Agency of Foreign Trade will continue to coordinate with Vietnamese trade offices abroad to learn from the

experience of C/O fraud prevention and strengthen the role of state management in inspection and verification of

origin of goods.

Lan Phuong