The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) has drastically directed Customs Departments of provinces and cities to strengthen inspections to fight against origin-related frauds to protect legitimate interests of local businesses and consumers.
According to the GDVC, it has discovered an increase in trade fraud in connection with goods origin and intellectual property (IP) rights. The customs officers have uncovered many cases in which imported goods were labeled “Made in Vietnam”, “Manufactured in Vietnam”, “Originated in Vietnam”, or had their foreign labels show the information about the brands, addresses of the producers, warranty centers in Vietnam for the purpose of consumption in the Vietnamese market or export.
They also detected the import of goods with counterfeit registered trademark; or the transport of counterfeit goods, goods violating IP property rights or carrying fake Vietnamese origin under the name of transit.
They also found that traders have taken advantage of legal documents on not requiring sub-labels at customs clearance to import goods and then changed labels, packages and the names of goods for domestic consumption.
Fraud of origin, illegal transmission and counterfeiting of Vietnamese goods labels affect genuine businesses and consumers and cause damage to the national economy. Fighting against frauds of origin was essential to protecting brands and the interests of consumers, as well as creating a healthy business environment.
In order to combat with frauds relating to goods origin and IP rights, The GDVC instructed provincial and municipal customs agencies to inspect, supervise and control the origin of goods , infringement of IP rights and illegal transit of import and export goods and develop a solution against frauds of origin, illegal transport and counterfeiting of goods labels.
On August 13, the GDVC issued Official Dispatch No. 5189/TCHQ-GSQL to assign Customs units to inspect and determine origin of goods, prevent acts of origin fraud and forgery, infringement of intellectual property rights and illegal transit.
The document No. 5189/TCHQ-GSQL was given on the basis of evaluating the situation of monitoring, management, supervision, control, post-clearance audit and inspection. Thereby, many methods and tricks of origin fraud, illegal labelling, infringement of intellectual property rights, illegal transit of imports and exports have been discovered.
For imported goods, Customs will not register customs declaration if the customs declarant does not declare the origin of goods in the import declaration.
On checking of customs dossiers, if the Customs declarant submits C/O according to provisions in Circular 38/2018/TT-BTC, Customs shall implement according to following steps: Check seal or signature on the C/O to determine legitimate seal and signature; check the declaration on quality, specifications, composition, model, sign/code, characteristics and utility of goods on the import declaration to determine the appropriateness of this information with documents of customs dossier; check name, description of goods, quantity, HS code, customs value on the Customs declaration with documents in the Customs dossier to determine the origin of goods.
On checking C/O, units must check origin criteria, documents of self-certification of origin, the information of the shipment's journey recorded on C/O, bills of lading and other documents (if any) to ensure imported goods meet direct transport conditions; check and compare contents declared in import customs declarations, documents of customs dossiers with data on imported goods protected by intellectual property rights to detect signs of infringing intellectual property rights.
In physical inspections of goods, Officers must check and compare information on origin, labeling in the declaration with documents in the customs dossier, results of inspection of customs dossier (if any); check the codes and barcodes of imported goods to determine origin, check labelling and information on intellectual property rights on imported goods; compare with data on the system to identify signs of infringement of intellectual property rights; inspect and identify goods as complete or disassembled products of a finished product but declare as raw materials and components.
For export goods, the GDVC requires local customs departments to check the contents on goods origin and labelling on the export declaration. The Customs authority shall not allow customs declarants to register customs declaration for exported goods if the customs declarant does not declare information on goods origin, labelling in the box of goods description in the export declaration.
The GDVC also directed the units of Risk Management, Post-clearance Audit, Customs Control to review and collect information of enterprises, commodities with high risk of fraud, propose criteria for channel classification and determine high risk objects to develop inspection plans. They also controlled the performance of customs operations, developed key plans to conduct patrol and control measures to prevent, detect and arrest smuggling, fraud and forged origin.