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Loopholes discovered in country of origin labeling rules
The Saigon Times Daily
Wednesday,  Jun 26, 2019,15:10 (GMT+7)

Loopholes discovered in country of origin labeling rules

The Saigon Times Daily

Customers inspect air conditioners at an electronics store. Regulations on country of origin labeling in Vietnam have raised public concern - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Regulations on country of origin labeling in Vietnam have raised public concern as the legal system does not regulate the kinds of import items that can bear “Made in Vietnam” labels.

The Government’s Decree 43 on product labeling stipulates that manufacturers and importers have to attach country of origin labels to their products and ensure the information displayed is correct and complies with prevailing regulations and trade agreements signed by Vietnam and other countries.

Also, the manufacturers and importers are required to use phrases such as “Manufactured in,” “Produced in,” “Made in,” or “Manufactured by” for countries or territories of origin.

However, for import products traded on the local market, the decree has yet to include specific criteria for attaching “Made in Vietnam” labels, according to the Import-Export Department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The department, over the years, has issued warnings of the rising number of origin fraud cases. Many products imported from foreign countries or ordered for manufacture overseas bear “Made in Vietnam” labels to deceive consumers and illegally take advantage of free trade agreements between Vietnam and other countries.

Also, some companies and individuals are using country of origin labels to evade safeguard measures adopted by the importing country, noted the department.

In several countries, country of origin labels will feature the popular phrases “Made in…” or “Produced in…” or will bear details of a product’s manufacturing phases. In addition, they impose heavy penalties on organizations and individuals who intentionally provide incorrect origin labels, according to the department.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the import-export department, said that more specific regulations with detailed criteria should be introduced for companies to comply with country of origin labeling requirements.

As for the origin fraud case involving Asanzo Vietnam, multiple agencies are launching inspections into the firm. It was recently discovered attaching “Made in Vietnam” labels to its mobile phones and electronic products that were reportedly imported from China.

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