Trade Ministry tightening controls on low quality imports from China

Published: 08/07/2009 05:00



Though Vietnam does not discriminate against goods based on their origin, it will strictly prohibit the import of products which do not meet technical requirements or are toxic to consumers.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Bui Xuan Khu

Deputy Minister Khu: In fact, there are two categories of Chinese-made products which have been imported to Vietnam. The first category is goods imported through official trade channels. We can verify these in accordance with Vietnam’s technical requirements. With the verification, we can absolutely prevent import of low quality products or products that are harmful to health.

As you might have heard, that the Chinese side itself has reported about the children’s clothes containing formaldehyde that may cause skin cancer. Right after the information was released, Vietnamese government agencies have checked our markets and taken samples for testing to find out if the imports from China contained the toxic substance.

The second category is local cross-border trade, which is allowed under agreements between neighboring provinces of Vietnam and China. Low quality and toxic products have been entering Vietnam mostly through land border crossings and in the category of cross-border trade.

The Ministries of Science and Technology and Industry and Trade are building up technical standards for imports that can be considered safe and allowed to be imported to Vietnam.

VNNet: Could you please elaborate on the standards and punishments for violators?

Khu: Imports through the official trade channels must follow specific regulations to be set by concerned ministries. For example, we will set a limit for chemical substances, i.e., goods which contain the substances at higher than allowed levels will not be allowed to enter Vietnam. Once the standards have been set by the ministries, government agencies including tax bodies and customs inspectors at border crossings will have to refer to the standards to decide whether to allow the products to enter Vietnam.

Regarding the contaminated childrens’ clothes, we’ve seen that after the information was spread out, Vietnamese consumers have boycotted the toxic imports from China.

VNNet: Even when standards are promulgated, do you think worry will persist that our tests will not be sufficient to detect products made with prohibited substances?

Khu: I can say for sure that we have enough equipment to examine imports and we have enough trained customs officers at the border gates.

VNNet: Vietnam imports not only consumer goods, but also machines and equipment from China. Also, equipments sourced from China are regarded as consuming a lot of fuel and emitting a lot of pollutants. Do you agree?

Khu: I think there are essentially two kinds of good Chinese-made equipment. One is equipment made in China but under technology licenses from the industrialized countries like the G-7. Then there is Chinese-made equipment that embodies high-quality Chinese technology. For example, the Ninh Binh power plant has been using Chinese equipment for many years and it has held up well. That means that even big economic groups like EVN (Electricity of Vietnam) are willing to purchase Chinese machines and equipment.

We should choose our imports based on their origin. We have to prevent low quality imports from whatever source, including the imports from China.

Phan Hung

Provide by Vietnam Travel

Trade Ministry tightening controls on low quality imports from China - Interviews - In depth |  vietnam travel company

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