Vietnam's General Department of Customs will focus on cracking down on origin frauds and illegal transhipment as violations are becoming more rampant and complex as the country integrates more deeply into the global economy.
The department’s Post-Clearance Inspection Department director Nguyen Tien Loc said this at conference on the fight against origin fraud on Monday in Hanoi.
He said origin fraud and illegal transhipment were being committed to avoid the US’ tariffs on Chinese products and enjoy preferential tariffs on products from Vietnam.
With the escalating Sino-US trade war, tariffs on products originating in China and exported to the US rose by about 7.5 per cent to 285 per cent, a huge difference with tariffs on products originating in Vietnam, Loc said.
He said the customs watchdog found a number of cases of origin faking and illegal transhipment, adding that origin faking happened most often in the sectors of electronics, garments, footwear, bicycles, wood, iron and steel and solar panel products.
Products were imported from China for minor processing in Vietnam then exported to the US to avoid the tariffs, he said.
The department’s statistics show that the customs watchdog found 24 cases of origin faking out of 76 cases investigated, confiscating 3,590 bicycles, more than 4,000 sets of bicycle components and 12,000 sets of kitchen cabinet accessories.
Of note, a firm established in 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City was found to provide fake certificates of origin to about 30 enterprises with a total exported goods value of more than 600 billion dong ($26 million).
Currently, only the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Industry and Trade are authorised to provide certification of origin.
Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department director Nguyen Hung Anh said investigations into the case were still ongoing.
Regarding the alleged origin faking of Global Vietnam Aluminium Company Limited with a goods value of more than $4.3 billion, Loc said the inter-sectoral investigation on the case was completed but did not found sufficient grounds to conclude the company violated established regulations.
The customs watchdog asked Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s customs department to closely watch the company’s aluminium storage in the southern province with a weekly report to ensure these products would not be sold in the domestic market or would ensure origin rules when shipped out of Vietnam.
Loc said the customs department would enhance inspection to prevent origin faking, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement comes into force at the beginning of next month.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK