A workshop dedicated to the topic of “International best practices to prevent origin fraud, illegal transshipment and circumvention of trade remedies” was coordinated convened by Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Trade and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Viet Nam from 14-15 November 2019 in Ha Noi. The workshop featured presentations from United States, Japan, European Union, US-ASEAN Business Council, Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, relevant agencies of Viet Nam, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also representatives of Vietnamese associations and enterprises.
In the opening remarks, Ms. Vu Thi Mai, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Finance of Viet Nam emphasized the importance of application of measures to prevent origin fraud, illegal transshipment and circumvention of trade remedies in the situation of emerging challenges of trade protectionism with a view to limiting negative impacts on economic development of Viet Nam. She also highlighted that the Government of Viet Nam has made significant progress in implementing an interagency project approved by the Prime Minister in July 2019 in order to strengthen attempts to circumvent trade remedies and origin fraud. Accordingly, General Department of Viet Nam Customs has also issued guidance and instructions to all customs departments and units to inspect and accurately determine the origin of goods and to identify and investigate illegal transshipment. Many initiatives have also been deployed to increase awareness of the issues among import and export enterprises and business associations in Viet Nam.
USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene gave remarks during the opening ceremony, which stressed that origin fraud, illegal transshipment, and the circumvention of trade remedies harms the healthy bilateral trading relationship between Viet Nam and the United States and other important trading partners, and it also harms compliant businesses. Thus, through the five-year Trade Facilitation Program, USAID is supporting the Government of Viet Nam to implement a risk management approach to customs and specialized inspection agencies, which will enhance the implementation of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement, of which both Viet Nam and the United States are members. The USAID Trade Facilitation Program is collaborating with Viet Nam Customs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to address origin fraud, illegal transshipment, and circumvention of trade remedies. The Program will also promote and encourage a more effective partnership between government agencies and customs, at both central and local levels, and the business community.
The workshop was held interactively to share best practices and information among customs, origin and trade remedies experts from international organizations and agencies in regards to the prevention of origin fraud and identifying and investigating illegal transshipment and circumvention of trade remedies, and to promote coordination and cooperation among relevant authorities in inspecting, determining and verifying the origin of exported and imported goods upon suspicion of origin fraud and illegal transshipment. More importantly, it contributed to demonstrating Vietnam’s commitment to the business community and trading partners for the prevention of origin fraud, illegal transshipment and circumvention of trade remedies, determination of customs administration and line ministries in implementing the decisions of the Government of Viet Nam.