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Nov 02, 2019 / 23:29

More Vietnamese goods under US watchlist for dumping act

The news comes shortly after the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) announced its capture of US-bound Chinses aluminum worth US$4.3 billion forging Vietnamese origin.

Vietnamese goods such as artificial stones, wood, steels, among others, are under the US’s watchlist for possible anti-dumping probes, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

 Illustrative photo.

The news comes shortly after the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) announced its capture of US-bound Chinses aluminum worth US$4.3 billion forging Vietnamese origin.

The case could potentially be the largest origin fraud to date in terms of export value, said Nguyen Van Can, director general of the GDVC, saying the authority is determined to prevent Vietnam from becoming a transshipment hub for foreign products.

After the US imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel products, a number of Chinese aluminum exporters are setting up branches in Mexico and Vietnam for US exports with lower tariffs. Currently, Vietnamese aluminum exported to the US is subject to a 15% tariff rate, while similar Chinese products are applicable to a tax rate of up to 374%, Can informed.

The case was not the only product that Vietnam is facing risks from trade fraud related to China, particularly with the US being Vietnam’s largest export market.

The MoIT, thus, has urged Vietnamese enterprises and local provinces to prevent similar cases of trade fraud, raising high alert level to a number of goods and products.

Plywood was identified by the MoIT with alert level 4- the highest level. Since 2017 – 2018, the US Department of Commerce has initiated anti-dumping probes and anti-subsidy duties on Chinese wood products. The US is imposing anti-dumping duty at rates up to 183.36% on Chinese wood products and anti-subsidy duties of 22.98 – 194.90%.

Such high tax rates prevent Chinese wooden products from penetrating the US market, forcing Chinese companies to look for intermediary to avoid punitive tariffs.

Last November, the US Customs Department fined FINEWOOD Vietnam Company for exporting wood products forging Vietnamese origin to the US.

Statistics from the MoIT revealed that while US imports of Chinese plywood was down 81% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2018, the value from Vietnam surged 516% during the same period.

From October 2018 to May 2019, the US initiated tariff dodging probe into plywood from Vietnam. The GDVC stated US$25.6-million worth of plywood exports from Vietnam to US was investigated for tariff evasion by the US.

Additionally, the MoIT said artificial stone products subject to alert level 3, with the US initiating anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs against such products from China last May, resulting in an import tariff from 265.81 – 336.69% for the former and 45.32 – 190.99% for the latter on Chinese artificial stones since May 2019.

In August, US imports of artificial stones from Vietnam jumped 600% year-on-year. A similar alert level was given to electric bicycles, corrosion-resistant steel, truck tires, and mattress.

Recently, Vietnam’s customs authorities have intervened in a number of cases of importing foreign products forging Vietnamese origin, including 10 containers of bicycles are being held by Binh Duong Custom Department. Preliminary results showed 100% of these products are imported from abroad, but later would be assembled in Vietnam for export. 
Hai Phong Custom Department also held containers of equipment and parts imported from abroad and subject to assembling in Vietnam to become made-in-Vietnam. 
Similar cases involving clothes, footwear, phone accessories originated from China but labeled as Vietnamese goods for domestic use are being found in ports in Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, among others.