HANOI, November 14, 2019 — Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Vietnam, together with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOIT), convened a workshop on international best practices to prevent origin fraud, illegal transshipment, and the evasion of trade remedies. Deputy Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) Mr. Mai Xuân Thành chaired the workshop and USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene and Vice Minister of Finance Vũ Thị Mai gave opening remarks. The workshop featured presentations from GDVC, MOIT, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, European Anti-Fraud Office, Japan Customs, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Origin fraud, illegal transshipment, and the circumvention of trade remedies harms the healthy, bilateral trading relationship between Vietnam and the United States and other important trading partners, and it harms compliant businesses as well.
The Government of Vietnam (GVN) has made significant progress in implementing an interagency project approved by the Prime Minister in July 2019 to strengthen efforts to circumvent trade remedies and origin fraud. GDVC has issued guidance and instructions to all customs departments to inspect and accurately determine the origin of goods and to identify and investigate illegal transshipment. Many initiatives have also been deployed to increase awareness of the issues among import-export enterprises and business associations. To complement current efforts, MOF and MOIT have committed to take more proactive steps to promote interagency cooperation to inspect, determine, and identify the origins of exported and imported goods upon suspicion of fraud or illegal transshipment.
Through the five-year Trade Facilitation Program, USAID is supporting the GVN to adopt and implement a risk management approach to customs and specialized inspection agencies, which will strengthen the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, of which both Vietnam and the United States are members. The USAID Trade Facilitation Program is collaborating with GDVC, MOIT, and VCCI to address origin fraud, illegal transshipment, and circumvention of trade remedies. The Program will also promote and encourage a more effective partnership between government entities and customs departments, at both central and local levels, and the business community.