The Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) identified 90,000 cases of trade fraud and smuggling, and issued nearly VND670 billion (US$28.96 million) in fines in 2019, up 7,700 cases and VND180 billion (US$7.78 million) in fines year-on-year, the governmental portal reported.
|Overview of the meeting. Source: Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance.|
During the year, the agency collected nearly VND500 billion (US$21.61 million) for the state budget, confiscated goods and products worth over VND170 billion (US$7.34 million) and destroyed smuggled and faked goods worth over VND120 billion (US$5.18 million).
Tran Huu Linh, director general of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said at a meeting on January 13, that in 2019, the authorities were able to deal with major cases of smuggling and selling of counterfeit products, a fact that was not possible in the past.
These included two shopping malls selling fake products in Mong Cai city, Quang Ninh province; stores and production facilities of fake and low quality products of major world brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or cases of forging Vietnamese origin in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces/cities; 3,108 wine bottles smuggled in Quang Binh province.
Linh, nevertheless, admitted the results remained modest compared to rampant trade fraud activities with growing complexity and scale.
Linh attributed limited resources and lack of understanding of intellectual property from the law enforcement authorities, among others reasons, to the current situation.
Moreover, the process of determining fake products which is time consuming and incurs high costs also affects the efficiency in operation of the market surveillance authority.
At the meeting, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh requested the market surveillance authority should not limit its role in the domestic market and should protect compliant enterprises and customers, but also expand its operational scope internationally through cooperation, focusing on preventing origin fraud, trade fraud and cross-border smuggling.
Vietnam is currently named in the watch list of the Special 301 Report of the US Trade Representative, which identifies those who do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property rights.