Vietnam to impose 34% anti-dumping tax on sugar imports from Thailand

Vietnam to impose 34% anti-dumping tax on sugar imports from Thailand

Vietnam plans to impose anti-dumping duties on raw sugar that originates in Thailand. (Bangkok Post photo)
Vietnam plans to impose anti-dumping duties on raw sugar that originates in Thailand. (Bangkok Post photo)

HANOI: Vietnam said on Tuesday it plans to impose anti-dumping duties on raw sugar that originates in Thailand, claiming soaring imports are undermining its domestic sugar industry.

The Vietnamese Industry and Trade Ministry said a 33.88% levy would apply on Thai sugar, but a timeframe for when it will come into force has yet to be decided.

The Thai government has been in talks with sugar traders on the issue to prepare clarifications for Vietnam, Virit Viseshsinth, deputy secretary-general of Thailand's Office of Cane and Sugar Board, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Vietnam removed import duties on sugar imported from Southeast Asian countries in 2020 in accordance with the commitments of the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

However, provisions allow Asean countries to impose import duties to protect the rights and interests of their domestic industries against anti-competitive behaviour.

Vietnam's decision to reintroduce duties, specifically for raw sugar, comes after the ministry conducted an anti-dumping investigation that started last September, following complaints by Vietnam sugar industry officials.

The probe's preliminary results showed that subsidized and dumping of sugar from Thailand surged to 1.3 million tonnes in 2020, up 330.4% from 2019, the ministry said in a statement.

"A series of domestic sugar factories have been closed, causing 3,300 employees to lose their jobs and having negative impacts on 93,225 farmer households," the statement added.

"An anti-dumping tax of 33.88% will be imposed on raw sugar originated from Thailand and will be reviewed regularly."

The ministry's investigation is still ongoing and will conclude in the second quarter. The Vietnamese side will work with relevant agencies to make a final decision on when it will introduce the duty, the ministry said.

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