The volume of sugar illegally imported into Vietnam from Cambodia and Laos has increased, reaching 757,000 tons per year in 2015-19, nearly 2.8 times the amount in 2008-14, according to a recently released report.
According to the report, about 273,571 tons of sugar were smuggled into Vietnam from Cambodia every year during the period 2008-14, where no illegal sugar was brought into Vietnam from Laos, according to the report.
In 2015-19, the volume of sugar smuggled into Vietnam rose dramatically to about 757,000 tons per year, or nearly 2.8 times the annual figure for the 2008-14 period.
Of the total, about 557,000 tons came from Cambodia and 200,000 tons from Laos.
These figures were released at a seminar on the sustainable development of Vietnam’s sugar industry hosted by the Vietnam Sugar and Sugar Cane Association (VSSA) and US-based Forest Trends, which protects critical ecosystems through creative environmental finance, markets, supply chains , and other incentive mechanisms.
dr. Nguyen Vinh Quang, who represents Forest Trends, delivered a report during the workshop on supply chains for the Vietnamese sugar industry and issues related to the sustainable development of the sector.
All of the sugar smuggled into Vietnam from the two countries came mainly from Thailand, according to the report.
Because Thailand provides price subsidies to its sugar exporters, Thai sugar illegally brought to Vietnam from Cambodia and Laos was priced lower than the raw material produced domestically by Vietnamese companies.
This has boosted the flow of Thai sugar smuggling into Vietnam from its two neighbors.
Thailand’s overthrow of regulations on domestic sugar trading prices in November 2017 was also seen as an incentive for sugar smugglers.
The report also pointed to a surge in sugar smuggled into Vietnam from its two neighboring countries in the past, reaching a nearly ninefold peak from 100,000 tons in 2008 to 890,661 tons in 2018.
Since Vietnam officially implemented its commitments to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) on January 1, 2020, leading to the elimination of import quotas and the reduction of import tax rates to just five percent from 80-85 percent, sugar has been mainly imported. in Vietnam through official trade channels.
The reduced import tax rate makes it easier for companies to import sugar through official channels, reducing the amount of sugar illegally brought into Vietnam from Cambodia and Laos.
amount of smuggled sugar transported from the two countries to Vietnam was about 206,000 tons, equivalent to nearly 25 percent of the total amount of smuggled sugar in 2019.
Sugar smuggling is mainly registered in the provinces bordering Laos and Cambodia, such as An Giang, Long An, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap and Quang Tri.
When entering Vietnam, such sugar is mixed with domestic sugar or the packaging is changed to look like domestically made products.
Sugar smugglers even sent Vietnamese packages to Cambodia to prepackage Thai sugar before bringing it into Vietnam through land borders.
“Hard action is needed against sugar smuggling. In addition, farmers and sugar factories are obliged to enter into partnerships,” Hai Quan (Customs) Online said at the seminar.
The Vietnamese sugar industry ranks fourth in Southeast Asia, after Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, and 15th in the world in terms of total production, according to VSSA.
This article was first posted on Tuoi Tre News