March 19, 2013


US imposes heavier anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam catfish



The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has imposed another round of anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnamese catfish, at 10 times more than the previous ones.


As a result, the Directorate of Fisheries of Vietnam (D-Fish) is considering, suing the DOC in a US federal court, for unfair calculation methods.


"We will continue to pursue justice against such an irrelevant and unreasonable tax for the sake of Vietnam's pangasius industry," the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said.


Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of VASEP, said Vietnam has about a week to change the DOC's decision before it gets published in the Official Gazette (OG), the official journal of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under the DOC.


VASEP and Vietnamese catfish exporters are working to protect the catfish industry through legal means and requesting that the DOC change its final decision of the eighth preliminary results of administrative review (POR8) under US laws as well as the agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).


In its final determination released last week, the DOC selected Indonesia as the reference country for calculating anti-dumping duties on frozen fish fillets from Vietnam.


Indonesia is now the country of reference even though, in the last administrative review, the DOC had argued against Vietnam's choice of Indonesia as the third country for reference to calculate input costs of pangasius production as Indonesia lacks good price data and basic financial parameters, said VASEP. Indonesia is also a net importer of frozen tra fillets, mainly from Vietnam, and does not export any.


VASEP said the DOC's decision was influenced by the Catfish Farmers of America (CFA), and this has posed questions about the fairness of the review process.


Therefore, VASEP has required the DOC to revise its final decision to correspond with the preliminary administrative review decision announced on September 12, 2012, under which all 18 Vietnamese firms exporting tra fillets to the US would be exempted from anti-dumping taxes. This will make DOC's decision consistent in the use of Bangladesh as the country of reference, which was the case before the DOC uses Indonesia.


Local catfish processors are about to lose access to the US market due to significant rise in anti-dumping tax rates recently announced by the DOC, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP.

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