return icon

Finance ministry proposes ban on raw mineral exports

The Ministry of Finance is proposing a sweeping ban on the export of raw minerals, a move that would indicate an escalation of the Government’s generally negative stance on a practice that generates little value 

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Finance is proposing a sweeping ban on the export of raw minerals, a move that would indicate an escalation of the Government’s generally negative stance on a practice that generates little value while causing environmental devastation.


Copper ore extraction at the Sin Quyen-Lao Cai Vimico complex in the northern province of Lao Cai. VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

The proposal was revealed in a recent document the finance ministry sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) that contains numerous measures to boost State management of mineral resources.

Luu Manh Tuong, director of the Import and Export Taxation Department, General Department of Viet Nam Customs (under the finance ministry), told Tuoi tre newspaper that the Party and the State have always supported the export of highly processed minerals that carry high added value.

Tuong pointed out that tariffs on many minerals cannot be raised to reduce export because materials such as iron, copper and lead are subject to export taxes as high as 30-40 per cent, already reaching the maximum duty level.

“Raising tariffs even more is not appropriate. The remaining viable measure is to implement ‘technical barriers’ but this responsibility rests with the MoIT, outside the jurisdiction of the finance ministry,” Tuong said.

Nguyen Minh Duc from the legal department of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper the proposed could be in violation of Vietnam’s commitments to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Duc said Vietnam maintains an export tariff on raw minerals during negotiations, but once CPTPP comes into effect Vietnam would have to eliminate them.

“Any measure to limit export of minerals must be carefully studied,” Duc said.

He also said that Vietnam’s tax policies on mineral exports have seen “rapid swings” in recent years. This uncertainty did not encourage long-term investment, giving rise to slapdash short-term mining activities.

“Natural resource management must be based on the three pillars of revenue transparency, selling at the best price and developing the domestic processing industry,” he added.

Technical standards

Other experts on mining said the proposal isn’t new, but the ban has not made it into actual policies because there have not been technical standards for what constitutes “unprocessed”, “processed” or “highly processed” minerals.

Mineral expert Nguyen Thanh Son said there are different levels of processing for raw minerals, and not all of them need to be highly processed. As a result, a uniform policy for all types of minerals is not advisable – each mineral should be considered independently.

“Take bronze for example, which only needs moderate processing to fetch a decent price. On the other hand, the more refined titanium is, the higher price we can get,” Son said.

Tran Van Mien, geology head of the General Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam, favours the raw mineral export ban but agreed there should be processing guidelines for some minerals.

“I think the authorities should issue a document which details optimal processing levels, financially speaking,” Mien said. “Of course, there couldn’t be separate regulations for all types of minerals, but it would be a basic management tool to ensure a balance between mineral exploitation, processing and environmental protection.”

Limit low-tech mining

Previously, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered limiting small-scale and low-tech mining projects of minerals such as gold, copper, nickel and molybdenum, which “causes pollution and losses to the country’s natural resources.”

Phuc urged the formation of large-scale mining enterprises that make use of advanced technologies – especially new processing and environmental protection techniques.

Recently, mineral export has been on the rise. According to latest reports from the Customs Authority, the country had exported more than two million tonnes of ore by July 15, netting US$101 million in revenues.

75 per cent of the exported ore, totaling 1.5 million tonnes, was sent to China.

Vietnam’s mineral export to China has been criticised lately due to the perception that the selling price is under market value, while Vietnam still imports a vast amount of minerals from China.

Most of the minerals exported to China are in their raw, unprocessed form, meaning that the relatively minor trade gains they provide are outweighed by the level of ecological damage caused by mining activities.

Source: VNS

related news


Vietnamese banks that 'disappear' from the market

Some banks used to be very popular, with hundreds of thousands of customers, but they gradually disappeared from the market because of many reasons.

Discovering Hanoi’s famous incense making village

The craft village with a tradition of more than 100 years impresses visitors for its space that is filled with vibrant colors such as blue, red, yellow, etc. of beautifully shaped bouquets of incense.

Vietnam to reassert its position on the world coffee map

Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter, but its impact on the world coffee market is not commensurate with its position, experts say.


Coffee exports to Netherlands enjoy three-digit growth

Youngest female Vietnamese Associate Professor receives Kovalevskaia Awards 2022

Prof. Dr. Le Minh Thang on March 7, 2023 was presented the 2022 Kovalevskaia Awards 2022 by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Third pedestrian street opens in Hue City

The Hai Ba Trung Pedestrian Street was opened on Sunday evening in Hue City, becoming the third walking street in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (March 27-April 2)

Entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on March 27-April 2.


Vietnam wins 17 prizes at International Robothon 2023

K'Duong breaks three youth weightlifting world records

Vietnamese weightlifter K'Duong broke three youth 55kg world records during the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Youth Championships on March 26 which is taking place in Albania.

Struggling hoteliers seek Government support to revive from COVID-19 crisis

Small- and medium-sized hotels in HCM City are struggling with low occupancy rates and labour shortages, and are in need of support to recover from a COVID-19-induced slump, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

Lion Championship MMA returns, first fight in Hanoi on April 1

The second season of the Lion Championship mixed martial arts will be back with great fighters and frightening fights in April.

Driftwood space launches in Hoi An

The first ever wood recycle space – driftwood village’s studio – has been launched in the ancient’s Cam Ha Commune on the most favourite bicycle riding road connecting the Old Quarter and An Bang beach.

Hoi An to host International Choir Competition

The event has received registrations from 20 teams representing nine countries and territories, and will feature 13 events with eight grades held at the city’s theatre.

Big race for investment in e-commerce logistics

An increase in online sales has put pressure on the logistics system, thereby triggering the race to invest in Vietnam's e-commerce logistics, according to insiders.

Banks underwriting bonds should buy back bonds: VN central bank

Commercial banks that underwrite and sell corporate bonds have to buy them back if investors so demand, the central bank has said.