A workshop in Hanoi on June 21 warned that trade fraud could lead to enormous losses to Vietnam’s wood industry (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The impact of the US-China trade war on Vietnam’s wood industry, including trade fraud risks, was highlighted at a workshop in Hanoi on June 21.

Participants noted that China is the biggest supplier of wood products for the US, with an export revenue of over 30 billion USD in 2018. However, the trade tension between these two economies is an important cause of the shift of production and business activities from China to other countries to avoid the US’s new tariffs imposed on goods originating from China shipped to this country.

Tran Thi Thu Huong, Director of the centre for commercial document certification of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said foreign businesses’ investment in Vietnam is a chance for local firms to improve the competitiveness of their exports to the US.

However, there will be problems if Vietnamese firms do not have a good grasp of regulations or meet rules of origin, she noted, adding that when the US discovers any businesses that have products with fake origin, not only those products will be banned from entering this market but other companies may also be affected. 

She said the VCCI is working closely with the agencies that grant certificates of origin (C/O) nationwide so as to enhance examination.

To prevent trade fraud, it is necessary to have strong coordination among management agencies, especially customs offices, Huong said.

To Xuan Phuc, a representative of non-profit organisation Forest Trends, said trade fraud could lead to enormous losses to Vietnam’s wood industry, and specifying and minimising new risks are urgent issues of the sector.

He added management agencies should comprehensively assess risks of FDI projects as well as their export products. They should coordinate with local authorities to review FDI companies’ activities, along with products exported from Vietnam to the US as well as those from China to Vietnam, to clarify trade fraud risks.

He recommended the C/O granting process be strictly examined to ensure that these certificates are provided only for eligible companies and products, adding that business associations also need to update information from partners and authorised agencies to notify its members and help them avoid risks.-VNA