Better management on C/O needed to avoid trade frauds in Vietnam
The State management efficiency in granting certificates of origin for enterprises needs to be improved to reduce trade frauds.
|Customs officials check the origin of goods. The State should improve the management efficiency in granting certificate of origin for enterprises. — Photo baophapluat.vn|
According to Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, it should continue to create favourable conditions for enterprises in the production and export of goods in accordance with international commitments in free trade agreements.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said to deal with fraud, the State should promote and improve awareness of enterprise' regulations related to certificates of origin (C/O).
Speaking during a meeting at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) late last week, Khanh said joining the free trade agreements will help reduce cases of origin fraud.
This often occurs for goods exported to markets applying self-verification of origin such as US, EU and Canada because these markets do not require enterprises to present certificates of origin.
Relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance, VCCI, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the General Department of Customs should strengthen cooperation to solve problems relating to C/O, Khanh said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) also needs to authorise VCCI to issue more C/O types under the free trade agreements (FTAs) so that the MoIT can reduce its workload related to granting C/O and strengthen the State management in this issue.
At a working day between the Prime Minister's working team, the VCCI and relevant ministries and agencies on C/O and trade fraud of goods origin in Hanoi on November 15, Dung said, according to a report from the General Department of Customs, there was a sudden increase in some goods items exported to the US market and some items imported from China to Vietnam.
Therefore, the State should have warnings about fraud, counterfeiting and evasion of trade remedies and strengthen close supervision to ensure the economic stability.
Tran Thi Thu Huong, director of VCCI's Centre for Commercial Document Certification, said they issued more than 472,000 certificates of origin in the first nine months of 2019, an increase of 2.4 per cent year on year.
HCM City's inspection
HCM City market management authorities have stepped up efforts to combat contraband, fake goods and trade fraud.
Authorities said smuggling of fake garments, footwear, liquor and beer, and sugar would increase by the end of the year for the festival season.
Relevant city agencies have begun inspections and seized large volumes of contraband items, mainly consumer goods.
Last week, the General Department of Market Management and the city's authorities inspected 29 shops selling fashion goods at Ben Thanh Market and Sai Gon Square Trade Centre in HCM City’s District 1.
From 10 shops at Ben Thanh, they seized over 800 items carrying labels like Rolex, Dior, Hermes, Gucci, LV, and Tag Heuer but suspected to be fake, and 49 bags smuggled into the country.
From Sai Gon Square, they seized over 1,000 bags, wallets, watches, scarves, belts and footwear purporting to be Rolex, Hublot, Tag Heuer, Gucci, Chanel, LV, and Hermes products for trade fraud. Over 500 watches and belts had been illegally imported.
The inspections are part of a campaign launched by the market management force to prevent the distribution of illegal imports and fakes.
A spokesperson for French personal care company L’Oreal recently warned buyers of fake skincare products being sold as L’Oreal.
Fake L’Oreal hair care products are also sold at traditional markets.
Smuggling, illegal imports, and trade fraud are rife around the country. According to the HCM City Customs, in the first ten months of this year, there have been 1,262 violations of customs regulations, mainly fraud trade and smuggling, involving goods worth more than VND1.5 trillion (over US$65.3 million).
Inspections by customs officers after clearance have uncovered tax evasion and collect taxes of over VND149.4 billion this year.
The National Customs Bureau has instructed its city office to inspect the origins of goods carefully, and this has helped discover a number of trade frauds.
Last week, customs officers at Cat Lai Port in the city’s District 9 searched and seized four containers destined for South Korea containing aluminum (22 per cent tax rate) which had been declared as steel pipes (0 per cent tariff).
To prevent fraudulent declarations of goods origins, the city's Customs Department has asked its various divisions to draft plans for combating contraband and carrying out inspections after customs clearance.
Customs agencies have also organised training courses in goods origin and brand name frauds for enterprises in the city.
The biggest difficulties facing Vietnam’s steel industry are trade remedies applied by importing countries and supply of materials.
The steel industry is facing lawsuits against tax evasion and dumping, according to information from the Vietnam Steel Association.
The customs authority of Vietnam has been proactively fighting fraud of origin and illegal trans-shipment, General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) Nguyen Van Can said on November 1.