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Fines fail to deter sales of poor quality helmets

Update: May, 10/2013 - 10:32
Authorities inspect helmets in Ha Noi's Hai Ba Trung District. The National Committee of Traffic Safety has called for a crack down on fake and substandard helmets.—VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tuan

HA NOI (VNS)— About 70 per cent of helmet wearers currently use fake or substandard ones, experts said at a meeting held by the National Committee of Traffic Safety on Wednesday.

Luong Thanh Liem, director of Hung Hau Helmet Company, said he has to spend a lot of money improving machines and materials so that his helmets meet all the regulations.

Meanwhile, others use their licenses to produce substandard headwear that sells for one-fourth of his prices.

"We are unable to compete with them," he said.

According to the Market Watch Department, nearly 1,800 helmet traders have been fined a total of VND870 million (US$41,400) for selling inferior helmets since February, when the nation started to crack down on fake helmets.

Fake helmets are typically sold by vendors or small shops, so it was impossible to trace their origin, said Tran Hung, deputy head of the department. Officials could think of no solution but fining these traders for selling goods without legal documents.

Moreover, many helmet producers that have been granted licenses are producing or importing substandard helmets because their products are not regularly inspected.

Le The Bao, chairman of the Viet Nam Consumer Protection Association, said many of them are importing helmets from China and stamping them with brand names.

Nguyen Hoang Hiep, deputy chairman of the National Committee of Traffic Safety, suggested inspections of helmet producers and traders should continue and said that State agencies should be responsible for ensuring the quality of helmets.

Hung said the department's officials would co-operate with traffic police to inspect helmets. Anyone found wearing substandard headwear would be punished. If there was no demand, supply would disappear, he said.

However, an official of the Ministry of Public Security said people should not be obligated to show that their helmets met regulations.

The inter-ministerial circular taking effect next week does not regulate punishment on helmets' users. — VNS

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