Vietnam has said it would crackdown on goods of Chinese origin illegally relabeled “Made in Vietnam” by exporters seeking to avoid US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs has found scores of such cases amid ongoing US-China trade tensions, it said in a statement posted to a government Web site on Sunday.
“The faking of origin and the illegal transhipment of goods happens most often in the sectors of textiles, seafood, agricultural products, tiles, honey, steel and iron, aluminium and timber products,” the department said.
Some importers had been illegally repacking goods from China in “Made in Vietnam” packaging and then applying for a Vietnamese certificate of origin with which to export to the US, Europe and Japan, it said.
In one such example, which was uncovered by US Customs and Border Protection, a Vietnam-based manufacturer of timber products was found to have been importing Chinese timber which it had relabeled and exported to the US.
Vietnam’s customs department is developing a process to better identify and impose penalties on businesses that carry out such contraventions, the statement said.
Vietnam has emerged as one of the largest beneficiaries of the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, as some businesses are shifting their supply chains away from China to avoid tariffs.
An analysis of trade data by Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc earlier this month showed that Vietnam had easily benefited more than other countries.
The Southeast Asian country relies heavily on China for materials and equipment for its manufacturing sector.
Meanwhile, the US is Vietnam’s largest export market.
The Vietnamese government has created a steering committee in response to the trade war, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said in a speech to the Vietnamese National Assembly last week.
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