HÀ NỘI — Market surveillance units last year cracked a number of major counterfeit rings countrywide as the fight against trade frauds took place on a scale never seen before, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình said.
He was speaking on Monday at a meeting to review 2019 tasks of the Việt Nam Directorate of Market Surveillance in Hà Nội.
According to the report from the directorate, last year, 90,000 violations were discovered, and VNĐ500 billion (US$21.6 million) in confiscated goods and administrative fines were contributed to the State budget.
Deputy PM Bình praised the directorate’ efforts which included the capture of two containers holding a large amount of frozen animal innards with questionable origins in Hà Nội on December 30, inspections into several well-known clothing stores’ fraudulent practice of putting “Made in Việt Nam” tags on Chinese-made items, or the break-ups of a large-scale sugar smuggling ring in An Giang and neighbouring localities.
Aside from the achievements, Deputy PM Bình has emphasised several weaknesses the market surveillance force need improve.
The professional capacity of surveillance staff remains uneven and there is definitely a small group of officials lacking in responsibility and showing signs of cover-ups, who have been dealt with, Bình said.
The directorate’s human resources as well as its infrastructure and equipment remains insufficient, which hampers the efforts in fighting counterfeit products and trade frauds, Bình said, adding that improvements must also be made quickly to market surveillance-related legal documents to appropriately respond to ever-changing real-life situation.
The directorate will need to be more prepared and better itself against the complicated developments of trade frauds, fake goods and food safety violations in 2020, Bình said.
“Market surveillance authorities must be categorically resolute in removing from its force any official or staff who transgresses against the law, commits bureaucratic harassments while on duty or fails to complete their missions,” Bình said, ordering a construction of a “strong, corruption-free” market surveillance force.
He asked the Directorate to follow orders from the Government, Prime Minister, the National Steering Committee to fight smuggling, commercial frauds and counterfeit goods (National Committee 389) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to effectively deal with these issues, in order to create favourable conditions for businesses and better protect consumers’ interests.
Market surveillance units were also told to co-operate with local governments as well as the police, customs and tax authorities, border guards to fight against low-quality products, trade of forbidden products and food safety violation cases, the Deputy PM said.
Application of information technology and robust co-operation with international partners should also be a focus in the new era, Bình said.
Deputy PM Bình has assigned the Government Office to compile the directorate’s proposals on the support it needs to function better – including partial retention of the ‘revenues’ from administrative fines issued, support from local governments to facilitate the construction of local market surveillance units, and use of vehicles with priority badges – and forward to relevant authorities. — VNS