Hanoi vows to crack down after discovering 'dozens' of types of products subject to fraud designed at dodging Trump's import levies
Vietnamese officials have accused China of using illegal “Made in Vietnam” labels to dodge US tariffs.
Chinese firms import goods including textiles, fisheries, farm products, tiles, honey, iron, steel and plywood through Vietnam where they are relabelled and then shipped on to another country, customs officials said on Monday.
Hoang Thi Thuy, a Vietnamese Customs Department official, told state-run media that “dozens” of types of products have been identified as being subject to the fraud.
Hanoi vowed this week to crackdown on the practice which ministers say is damaging Vietnam’s reputation.
“It will sabotage Vietnamese brands and products and it will also affect consumers.
Vietnam’s foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, told the Vietnamese National Assembly last week:
“We could even get tariff retribution from other countries, and if that happens, it will hurt our economy.“
“We will increase the punishment to deter cases of goods claiming to be Vietnamese goods entering other markets,” he added in an official report posted on the government’s website.
The government called for more stringent checks on exports to the US, Europe and Japan.
Exporters have started shifting production from China to Vietnam to avoid 25 per cent tariffs imposed by Donald Trump as part of an escalating trade war.
As Mr Trump has imposed more import levies on Chinese goods, Vietnam’s exports to America have soared.
The value of shipments from Vietnam to the US jumped 40 per cent to $16bn in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same quarter last year.