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City tackles counterfeit goods, smuggled goods and trade fraud

Update: October, 20/2018 - 09:00
Market management officials in HCM City destroy fake helmets. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — HCM City is seeking better solutions to fight against counterfeit goods and smuggled products that are traded online. 

Speaking at a meeting held yesterday in HCM City, Nguyễn Văn Bách, deputy director of the city’s Market Management Department, said that many businesses were promoting, advertising and selling their products on websites.

“However, this channel is also widely used to promote and sell counterfeit goods and engage in trade fraud related to intellectual property rights, especially fashion items, cosmetics and functional foods,” he said. 

“It’s difficult for agencies to detect fake goods that are traded online,” he said, adding that it is even more challenging in the case of intellectual property rights.  

In addition, mangagement of the trading of smuggled goods via air and seaports remains difficult.

Many fake luxury items can still be found at traditional markets and trade centres.

Because of the high profits and minor penalties, violators are willing to repeat wrongful acts.

Bách attributed the issue to poor management and weak coordination between agencies and management of trade centres and markets.

Đàm Thanh Thế, chief officer of National Standing Committee 389, said counterfeit goods and trade fraud related to intellectual property rights were affecting the investment environment and consumer health. 

He attributed the problem to high profits, minor penalties and ineffective coordination between enterprises and regulatory forces.

Consumers lack awareness and legal knowledge about commercial businessses, and are often deceived by cheap products that could be unsafe. 

According to Trần Hữu Linh, chief of the General Department of Market Management, many items could be fake or counterfeit.

They include fertiliser, tobacco, sugar, petrol, clothing, footwear, electronic products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agricultural materials, and construction materials.

In local markets, trade of fake and poor quality products, and those of unclear origins, occur frequently.

Solutions

Bùi Thế Chuyên, vice president of the Việt Nam Chemical Group, said fake fertilisers and poor quality agricultural products had caused losses of US$2-2.5 billion per year. 

Violators often work with unethical agents to sell fake or counterfeit fertiliser, according to Chuyên.

Enterprises selling fertiliser should work closely with agencies, sales agents and customers to be able to detect fake or poor quality fertiliser.

Representatives of enterprises at the meeting said it was important to use hi-tech methods, especially software, to trace goods.

Bách of the Market Management Department urged the taxation department to closely supervise enterprises that have suspicious transactions or engage in transfer pricing.

He said the Taxation Department should improve management of e-commerce tax collections.

Last year and in the first nine months of this year, more than 34,730 cases of administrative violations related to fake, counterfeit or smuggled goods were reported, collecting revenue of VNĐ121.3 billion ($5.2 million) with value at more than VNĐ907 billion.

As many as 129,000 e-commerce websites exist nationwide, mostly in HCM City and Hà Nội.

The meeting was held by the National Steering Committee 389, and the General Department of Market Management under Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT). — VNS

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