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U.S. auto council bemoans stringent Decree 116
Wednesday,  May 16, 2018,14:38 (GMT+7)

U.S. auto council bemoans stringent Decree 116

HCMC – The American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) has expressed its concern over some points in the Vietnamese Government’s Decree 116/2017/ND-CP on auto trade, saying such policies are more stringent than needed and show discrimination between imported and locally-assembled vehicles.

News website Dan Tri reported that AAPC said in a recent document sent to Vietnam’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality that the requirements in the decree concerning auto manufacture, assembly, import, and warranty and maintenance services are too strict and only Vietnam can meet such requirements.

Article 6 of the decree requires all autos imported into Vietnam must have vehicle type approval (VTA) certification issued by authorities of exporting countries.

This requirement, according to AAPC, is only imposed in Vietnam. It only facilitates the import process and does not prove the compliance of local safety and emissions standards. 

Another unreasonable point concerns the inspection of emissions and safety issues on every batch of imported autos. This requires auto importers to repeat tests on the same vehicle sample at ports, lengthening the import process, and putting imported autos at a disadvantage over those manufactured in Vietnam, AAPC said.

AAPC also complained about the requirement of testing roads. It said that the decree goes against the principle of non-discrimination of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. While autos locally manufactured are tested once every 36 months, imported ones must undergo repetitive tests.

According to the AAPC, many manufacturers have been operating in Vietnam for more than 20 years and testing roads were built in areas which now fail to meet conditions required in Decree 116. 

Decree 116 was released on October 17, 2017 and came into force on January 1, 2018, which means auto firms have fewer than three months to prepare. As for the Ministry of Transport’s Circular 03/2018/TT-BGTVT, it was issued on January 25, 2018 and becoming effective on March 1, 2018, or fewer than six weeks in between. Therefore, the AAPC requested Vietnam to revise them according to TBT commitments.

The European Union (EU) previously also wrote to the directorate voicing its concerns over the decree and requested a delay of the decree implementation as it discriminates against foreign firms. The EU said Vietnam needs to review the decree which can lead to unnecessary restrictions on trade activities.

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