Viet Nam tra exporters protest US duties

Friday, Sep 15, 2017 08:54

Tra fish is processed at Bien Dong Seafood Co Ltd in the southern province of Can Tho’s Tra Noc II Industrial Park. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liem

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) protested a new US anti-dumping duty on tra frozen fillets from Viet Nam.

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) imposed the duty of US$2.39 per kilo after completing a regular administrative review. VASEP said the new tax rate was three times higher than the individual tax rate in the 12th administrative review period, reflecting an unfair and unusual departure from previous anti-dumping regulations.

This is the first time that the DOC has made adjustments that lacked legal basis and ignored the usual regulations so far when making the preliminary decision, said VASEP.

DOC has applied the duty to tra fillets exported by Go Dong Seafood Company Ltd (GODACO). The US department claimed that the company did not co-operate during the review period and failed to provide enough necessary data for DOC.

VASEP said this decision is baseless. The assocaition claims GODACO provided sales and production data as requested and answered the DOC’s questions in time. If the DOC relied on records and data provided by GODACO to calculate the anti-dumping tax, the company would only be imposed an insignificant tax rate, VASEP claims.

“We strongly recommend that the DOC carefully review all records and data provided by GODACO as a basis for calculating and imposing accurate and reasonable rates for Vietnamese tra exporters,” said VASEP.

August exports to US down

According to VASEP, the export of tra fish to the US sharply decreased in August.

The export value only reached $18.44 million, down 58.5 per cent from July and 54.8 per cent compared with the same month last year. Vinh Hoan Company, the major tra fish exporter of Viet Nam, exported 130 containers to the US in August, down 120 containers from its monthly average volume.

VASEP said US inspection of all catfish under the Farm Bill, which came into effect last year, has hampered Viet Nam’s exports of tra fish to the US.

They noted that some large importers of tra fish have their own stores approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, most ports are short of inspectors from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), making the average time from entry to inspection six days.

The FSIS inspection programme costs about $0.1 to $0.25 per kilo of tra fish (equivalent to 3-7 per cent of the sale price), lowering the competitiveness of the Vietnamese tra fish in the US market. — VNS

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