March 20, 2013


Vietnam seafood association seeks legal action against US DOC


The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) will seek legal action to demand that the US Department of Commerce (DOC) rectifies its decision over the selection of Indonesia as the sole benchmark country to calculate the anti-dumping rate on Vietnam's frozen tra fish fillet.


VASEP General Secretary, Truong Dinh Hoe, said that the DOC's decision is extremely unfair, which, not only affects Vietnam's seafood export to the US market, but US consumers as well since they would have to buy seafood products at higher prices.

According to VASEP, the DOC has yet to publish its decision on the Federal Register, which means the decision will not take effect immediately. In the mean time, Vietnamese tra fish exporters and their lawyers will collect and analyse data for the lawsuit, which will be submitted to the US Federal court at a suitable time.


The association will focus on persuading the DOC not to change the benchmark country in calculating anti-dumping rate on Vietnam's tra products, Hoe said.


Over the past consecutive eight years, the DOC has used Bangladesh as the sole reference country, which shares many similarities with Vietnam in breeding conditions and input costs.


According to VASEP, in previous administrative reviews, the DOC even objected to choosing Indonesia as this nation has neither adequate pricing and financial data nor comparable economic conditions with Vietnam. Furthermore, Indonesia is actually an importer of frozen tra fillets and does not export tra fish to the world market.


Following the DOC's latest decision, Vietnamese tra exporters will have to pay higher duties from at least US$0.19 to US$0.77 - US$3.87 per kilogramme, VASEP reported.


Specifically, Vinh Hoan Company, which had the highest export turnover to the US and used to enjoy a 0% tax rate, will be subject to a new rate of US$0.19 per kilogramme.


Vietnam exports tra fish to 142 countries and regions. In 2012, the country earned over US$1.74 billion from tra fish exports, mainly from the EU with over US$425.8 million (accounting for 24.41% of the market share); the US with 358.8 million dollars (20.57%), and the ASEAN with US$110.4 million dollars (6.33%), according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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