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Vietnamese customs discovered and seized about $4.3 billion of Chinese aluminum falsely labeled “Made-in-Vietnam” before being shipped mostly to the U.S., the Dan Tri news website reported, citing Nguyen Van Can, head of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
The aluminum was imported from China by a company based in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau that tried to sidestep U.S. tariffs, according to the report that didn’t give the company’s name. Vietnamese customs worked with American authorities during the investigation.
Vietnam has become a top destination for suppliers looking to avoid U.S. and Chinese tariffs amid the ongong trade war between the great powers, which also makes it a potential magnet for fraudsters.
Vietnamese authorities are increasing scrutiny on product origins and tightening issuance of certificate of origins for exports, in an attempt to stop trade fraud, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Quoc Khanh told reporters in Hanoi in July. The government has stepped up its efforts “to prevent the Vietnamese territory from being taken advantage of, and not being used to avoid tariff with any markets,” Khanh said.
Vietnamese shipments to the U.S. increased 26.6% from January through October compared to the same period last year, the Hanoi-based General Statistics Office said in an estimate released earlier today.
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