Tran Hung, deputy chief of the Secretariat of National Steering Committee 389 spoke to Tuoi Tre (Youth) about his committee's resolve to protect consumers from counterfeit or low quality goods.
In the past few years, the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods has had some success. But the results of these efforts still don't meet expectations. What do you think of that?
I should say concerted efforts made by various agencies in the war against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in the last few years have achieved many successes. For example, in the last three months of 2015, more than 2,000 cases of smuggling and selling of fake foods, pharmaceutical products, supplementary diets and even cooking gas were busted.
I have to admit that smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods activities have become more and more sophisticated. However, with the Government's decision to make some changes in its policies on smuggling and trade fraud, I'm confident we'll win this fight. For example, in the past people living along border lines were allowed to buy goods at border markets worth some VND2 million per day ($90) and then re-sell them to traders. But now, under the Government's new policy, these traders will have to pay taxes for the goods they buy from local people living along the border. In other words, all goods or commodities circulating inside Viet Nam must have invoices, or else the traders will be subjected to fines. I'm confident that such a decision will help deter smuggling activities.
In 2016, the National Steering Committee on Combating Smuggling and Trade Fraudulence, which is known as Steering Committee 389, has vowed to take action against commodity magnates. To ensure the fight's success, local authorities are asked to co-ordinate with functional agencies to participate in the fight as one of their missions.
Will you please elaborate further on measures Steering Committee 389 has adopted to deter smugglers?
We have launched an information and education campaign (IEC) to raise awareness among the population and businesses on saying no to counterfeit goods. For example, we have worked with the Viet Nam Gas Association and signed a co-operation agreement on the fight against trade fraud.
In addition, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also head of Committee 389, ordered thorough investigations on all instances of trade fraud. He then gave due punishments to the culprits, regardless of if they were smugglers, customs officials or Government officials.
Do you think the war against smuggling and trade fraud's momentum will be maintained throughout the year?
Following the establishment of Committee 389, many successes have been reported in the mass media and acknowledged.
I'm confident that transparency and accountability in the war against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods will win us this fight.
The enterprises themselves should help people recognise differences between their authentic products and fake ones. I'm sure that if the whole society got involved in the fight, there would be no place for trade fraud and counterfeit goods. — VNS