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Draft on imported machinery meets criticism

Update: March, 20/2015 - 08:00
Imported heavy machinery parked on the side of Ha Noi's National Highway No 5. A draft decree on importing used machinery has received opposition from experts and businesses. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

HA NOI (VNS) — Many experts have described a recent draft decree on the importation of used machinery, equipment and production lines as "unfeasible".

They said that the issuing of such decree was totally unnecessary.

The draft decree, which was prepared by the Ministry of Science and Technology last year, stipulates that second-hand machines, technology and production lines must be used within 10 years.

When purchased, the quality of the machinery must 80 per cent or more of the original.

The decree was issued ostensibly to stop the inflow of obsolete technologies into the country. It was planned to take effect last September.

However, the science ministry was told to delay the implementation of the decree so that opinions of experts and businesses could be collected.

Speaking at a conference on Tuesday, Do Phuoc Tong, vice chairman of the HCM City Mechanics Association, said that the regulated use-by date of not more than 10 years was too long for some information technology (IT) and digital machines, which required regular update in every five to seven years.

On the other hand, the time frame was too short for some machines that could operate for up to 30 years if manufactured in some EU countries.

Nguyen Van Dong, chairman of Viet Nam Printing Association, agreed, saying that it was difficult to buy offset printing machines or processing machines manufactured by EU countries after 10 years of use or less as they were still in operation.

Dong said no organisation or experts could evaluate the quality of every machine as each was often so different.

"Trying to do so would create time-wasting and costly procedures for businesses," he said.

Truong Quoc Tuan, representative from TAT Machine Tools and Equipment JSC, said it was often necessary to dismount a machine to evaluate its quality.

PhD Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Foreign Investors Business Association, said that it would be better not to have another decree on the importation of used machines.

He cited Thailand, saying the country only inspected machines after they were put into use instead of when they were imported, adding that had not turned the nation into a technological garbage heap.

A representative of the Viet Nam based Japanese business association said if Viet Nam followed exisiting regulations on the safety and quality of used machines, there would be no reason to issue another decree.

Nestor Scherbey, general director of Customs, Trade and Risk Management Service at the American Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam, who has worked in 50 countries in 30 years, said only China had a similar decree to the one that Viet Nam intended to issue.

Scherbey said the draft decree would not stop the nation becoming a technological garbage heap, but would create more trouble for small-and-medium enterprises. — VNS

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