Customs departments tighten supervision on foreign investment

Customs departments are keeping a close watch on investment shifts from foreign countries, especially China, into Vietnam to prevent product origin fraud and illegal transshipments.

That's the statement of Au Anh Tuan, head of the Customs Supervision and Management Division of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Customs departments tighten supervision on foreign investment

Containers of goods are seen in Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Customs departments are keeping a close watch on investment shifts from foreign countries, especially China, into Vietnam 

The division noted that since early 2019, investment capital from China and Hong Kong has surged, according to baotintuc.vn.

In the January-October period, investments from China into the country skyrocketed by 200% against the figure seen in 2018, while investments from Hong Kong climbed 400%. Each foreign-invested project this year has cost some US$1 million.

The projects, despite their small scale, pose high risks, Tuan remarked, adding that firms developing these projects will find it hard to invest deeply to change the origins of their goods. Instead, they can only assemble and attach “Made in Vietnam” labels to finished products before exporting them to the United States, which is currently imposing high tariffs on China.

Recently, customs agencies have discovered bicycles and lawnmowers with components imported from China being shipped to the U.S. market, Tuan reported.

To prevent goods origin fraud and illegal transshipments, customs departments are collaborating with the relevant ministries and departments to check all processes from granting licenses to reviewing exporters’ production capacity, he said.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs regularly works with local and international agencies to fight origin fraud and illegal exports.

 

Considering statistics on import-export revenue collected over the past few months, the customs general department will work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to identify firms with an import-export revenue upsurge, for closer supervision.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs proposed the ministry review, supplement and amend regulations on origins of goods in Article 9 of Decree 31, stipulating simple processes and the concept of simple processing of products to ease supervision and inspections of origin fraud.

The customs agency also proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment provide a list of firms receiving capital from countries subject to preventive measures imposed by the United States, and to intensify supervision of these firms.

In addition, the customs general department suggested the Ministry of Science and Technology collaborate with the relevant ministries and departments to amend and supplement Decree 43 on labeling items to clearly regulate that goods must meet origin regulations and have “Made in Vietnam” tags before they are shipped to foreign countries.

Over the January-October period, Vietnam earned US$217 billion from exports, up 7.4% year-on-year. Shipments to the United States soared by 26% year-on-year. The growth rate of exports to the United States was reportedly four times higher than the average growth rate of Vietnam’s exports to other markets.

Over the 10-month period, Vietnam mainly imported computers, computer parts, electric wires and electric cable wires from China. The export of these items to the United States rocketed over the period, according to statistics from the customs agency. SGT
 

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