The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has decided to choose Indonesia as the sole benchmark country to calculate the anti-dumping rate on frozen tra fish fillets imported from Vietnam.

This is part of the final results of the 8th Administrative Review of the antidumping duty order on Certain Catfish Filets from Vietnam, which was announced by DOC on March 14.

Previously Bangladesh which shares many similarities with Vietnam in breeding standards and input costs, was the benchmark country.

Following this decision, which will take effect as of next week until early 2014 before its next administrative review, Vietnamese tra exporters will have to pay much higher duties.

Vinh Hoan Co has the highest export turnover to the US and used to enjoy a zero percent tax rate, but it has been subject to the new rate of 0.19 USD per kilo.

Sixteen other exporters will be subject to higher rates from 0.77 to 3.87 USD per kilo, with Docifish Corp at the top end of the scale.

Vietnam’s Directorate of Fisheries has voice its strong opposition to the DoC’s decision.

The directorate’s Deputy Director General Pham Anh Tuan said the decision is totally unfair, since Vietnam and Indonesia do not share the same socio-economic conditions. According to Tuan, the Directorate is now working with Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) and lawyers to consider the possibility of bring the decision to the US federal court on trade before the decision come into force.

Experts advised Vietnamese fish farmers and exporters to stay calm, saying that excessive worry or giving up is not a solution, since this is not the final decision.

Last year, Vietnam earned 358 million USD from frozen tra fish fillet exports to the US , its second largest market. The US emerged as the biggest importer of Vietnamese seafood in January this year.-VNA