Aluminium shipment held under surveillance under origin fraud suspicion

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2019 19:53

Aluminium rolls in a storage unit in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. — VNA/VNS Photo

An aluminium shipment worth an estimated US$4 billion heading to the US and other countries is being closely watched, said the General Department of Viet Nam Customs in an official statement released on Monday.

The general department and federal agents from the US Customs and Border Protection are to keep the shipment under surveillance as an investigation into its owner is underway.

The aluminium shipment, allegedly seized for place-of-origin fraud by Viet Nam Customs last week, may have been the largest case of its kind in the country to date. It was registered to Global Vietnam Aluminium Co Ltd (GVA), headquartered in My Xuan B1 – Conac Industrial Zone in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

According to Viet Nam's customs authority, GVA imported 2.44 million tonnes of aluminium since 2015. The company's import totals 488 trillion tonnes while its export totals 80 trillion on a yearly average. GVA's import has plummeted since the beginning of 2019. It has only bought in over 64 trillion tonnes by the end of September.

The amount of aluminium in GVA's storage units was 1.8 million tonnes with an additional 200 trillion tonnes it currently keeps in for-rent storage. The aluminium was imported from Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Russia.

Viet Nam’s aluminium exports to the US were subject to a tax of about 15 per cent, but products from China were levied at up to 374 per cent. According to US customs, even if businesses imported aluminium ingots and bars and finished aluminium products to process, they were still not eligible to be labelled made-in-Viet Nam. — VNS

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