New legislation strengthens Vietnam’s trade remedy rules: finance ministry

By Dam Tuan   October 11, 2016 | 06:46 pm GMT+7
Safeguard measures can now be applied for a maximum of 10 years to protect local industries from injury.

A new law that came into effect last month is particularly important for foreign companies exporting to Vietnam as it has strengthened existing regulations on trade remedy duties, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Law on Export and Import Duties 2016, for the first time, includes a whole chapter on antidumping, countervailing and safeguard duties, the ministry said in a recent post on its website.

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Steel is one of the local industries that have faced increased competition from imports. Photo from baodautu.vn

Under the new law, trade remedy duties will be added on top of ordinary import tariffs, but only after the result of dumping investigation is affirmative.

The extra duties will be reduced or removed when foreign enterprises no longer have any harmful impact on the local industry.

The law also stipulates that the maximum applicable period for safeguard measures will be 10 years, while previously it was only four years, not including extensions. Antidumping and countervailing duties can be imposed for up to five years with possible extensions.

Pham Anh Tuan, deputy director of the ministry’s International Cooperation Department, said trade remedies have been included in various legal documents since 2014 and are consistent with the legal framework of the World Trade Organization.

But this is the first time detailed rules regarding trade remedies have entered a Vietnamese law, Tuan said, adding that each particular case will be given specific guidelines by the authorities to protect local industries against unfair competition.

Since becoming a WTO member in 2007, Vietnam has signed several more trade agreements that have and will open up the local market for imports.

Vietnamese authorities have taken antidumping and safeguard actions in six cases so far.

On the global market, Vietnamese products have been the subject of approximately 100 trade remedy cases in foreign countries.

The government is also drafting the Law on Foreign Trade Administration. The bill is expected to be discussed by legislators later this month.

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