Smuggled, counterfeit products crowd out genuine businesses

December 18, 2021 - 08:54
Smuggled and counterfeit products begin to run rampant as shopping seasons are drawing near.


Hà Nội market management force seizing illegal products. In the first 11 months of 2021, the authorities confiscated about VNĐ2,554.7 billion worth of illegal products, returning VNĐ270.42 billion to the State budget. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Smuggled and counterfeit products are running rampant as popular shopping seasons are drawing near, according to Vũ Kim Hạnh, chairman of the high-quality Vietnamese Product Business Association.

At the webinar “Solutions to tackle smuggled products, counterfeit products, and the violations of intellectual property rights to protect businesses and consumers” held recently, Hạnh said smuggled and counterfeit products were driving genuine products out of the market.

"If left unchecked, these illegal products would cause great damage to company revenues and reputations.

“They would put honest firms out of business, and eventually suffocate domestic production,” she warned.  

The perpetrators are difficult to root out because they are cunning. As soon as they sense something wrong, they quickly hide.

They also move from place to place to avoid being detected. The chairman thus urged authorities to keep a closer watch on the situation, take punitive action and use the media to keep illegal products in check.

Nguyễn Hùng Anh, director of the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department, noted that smuggling, counterfeiting and the violation of IPR showed no sign of abating this year. Medical supplies, fashion products, home appliances, and fertilisers and herbicides are among the most counterfeited and smuggled products.

As the new year is on the horizon, smuggling and counterfeiting begin to pick up again, dealing a severe blow to firms, consumers and tax revenues.

In the face of this dire situation, the department is going to step up year-end inspections to curb illegal business practices.

Notably, the department said it advised the General Department of Customs to issue Official Dispatch No.1239/TCHQ-ĐTCBL on March 17 to implement the plan on the prevention of smuggling and counterfeiting and protection of consumers in 2021.   

In the first 11 months of this year, Vietnamese customs authorities have unveiled 13,413 cases of customs violations. Nearly VNĐ2,554.7 billion (US$110.86 million) worth of illegal products has been seized, adding around VNĐ270.42 billion to the State budget.

A total of 29 cases have been brought to court, and 155 sent to relevant agencies to be prosecuted.

At the same time, National Steering Committee 389 also introduced Plan No.119/KH-BCĐ398 on the prevention of smuggling, counterfeiting and trade fraud prior to, in and after the Lunar New Year of 2022 to keep a tight rein on the situation. — VNS