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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Vietnam acts on concerns over imported steel quality

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Vietnamese Government has issued a directive addressing a request by the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) over the strengthening of imported steel quality management.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Science and Technology have been tasked with reviewing and resolving the association’s request.

The directive emphasized the significance of conducting thorough research and handling the matter within the jurisdictions of the respective ministries. It further mandated that any issues exceeding their authority should be promptly reported to the prime minister for appropriate action by July 28.

On July 6, the VSA formally requested the prime minister and the ministries to consider the establishment of technical barriers for domestically produced steel and to enhance quality inspection procedures for steel imports into Vietnam.

The association highlighted the steel industry’s importance as a backbone of the economy and a major player in international trade, emphasizing that steel quality directly impacts multiple economic sectors.

In the international arena, several countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Australia and the United Kingdom, have set up high technical barriers and trade defense measures to protect domestic steel production.

These countries require steel products intended for export to undergo certification, attesting to compliance with the importing nation’s quality standards. Such certifications aim to prevent the influx of low-quality products and reinforce quality control measures for imported steel.

In contrast, almost all steel products imported into Vietnam currently face zero import duties, and trade defense measures to protect domestic steel production have been removed. Additionally, steel products like coated and color-coated sheets, steel pipes, and prestressed steel are not subject to any trade defense measures. Moreover, steel products are not included in the Group-2 list of goods subject to specialized quality inspections, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s decision.

Consequently, the importation of steel into Vietnam lacks a proper quality evaluation process, leading to a diverse range of steel varieties and qualities without proper scrutiny or conformity to Vietnamese standards.

Group-2 goods comprise products and goods that, even when handled appropriately and used for their intended purposes, still have the potential to do harm to people, animals, plants, property, and the environment. Therefore, these goods require a quality assurance certificate before being introduced into the market.

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