Vietnam has no regulations on criteria for goods to be labeled ‘made in Vietnam’, so consumers have no basis to distinguish ‘made in Vietnam’ and foreign-made products.
Government agencies have started an investigation into Asanzo electronic products following allegations that the manufacturer is importing Chinese products and selling them as its own, or made-in-Vietnam, products.
Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the Asanzo plant only assembled televisions using components imported from China, whereas other home appliances sold by Asanzo were finished products purchased directly from China.
Asanzo chair Pham Van Tam, at the meeting with the local press, said this claim is incorrect, though he admitted he uses Chinese components for his products.
VietNamNet reporters contacted a deputy director of the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, a member of ‘Buy Vietnamese’ Organization Board to learn about the current regulations on Vietnamese origin and find what products could be considered ‘Vietnamese products’.
The Asanzo plant only assembled televisions using components imported from China, whereas other home appliances sold by Asanzo were finished products purchased directly from China.
However, the official did not give a clear answer about the criteria to define Vietnamese products, but referred to information the Import/Export Department published on the website of the department.
In February 2019, the Import/Export Department issued a warning about trade fraud in labeling products. In many cases, the products imported from other countries or made in foreign countries under outsourcing contracts were labeled ‘made in Vietnam’ products to deceive consumers.
The existing legal framework still doesn’t have regulations on the labeling of goods as made in Vietnam.
“Regarding labelling, the government released Decree 43 dated April 14, 2017 which stipulates how to label products in circulation in Vietnam and import products, but doesn’t stipulate the criteria that products must meet to be labelled as ‘made in Vietnam’.
The current regulations do not clearly specify the percentage of locally made content products needed to be recognized as ‘made in Vietnam’.
A lawyer said since there are no criteria about ‘made in Vietnam’ products, the concept is understood in many different ways. They could be products with Vietnamese origin which enjoy preferential tariffs under FTAs; products made in Vietnam in some stages; or products with Vietnamese brands.
Meanwhile, other countries set regulations on labelling goods to protect local production and brands of specific products. The information on labels could be shown in general such as ‘made in…’, ‘produced in…’, or could be given in details such as ‘designed by/in…’, ‘assembled in…’, ‘packaged in…’ and imported by/for…’