Date: 15 July 2009
The ministry issued Decision 3329/QD-BCT to investigate the imported float glass as two domestic petitioners, the Viglacera Float Glass Company and the Viet Nam Float Glass Ltd Company, had requested safeguard measures for imported float glass because imports were rapidly increasing and hurting their businesses. The two petitioners had made 90 per cent of domestic float glass, including 36.5 per cent from Viglacera Float Glass Company and 53.5 per cent from the Viet Nam Float Glass Ltd Company.The Viet Nam Glass Industry Company also produced 10 per cent of the domestic float glass output, and also supported the petition.
Representatives of the companies said that imported float glass had increased sharply in recent years.
The import volume increased from 1.2 million sq.m in 2007 to 8.1 million sq.m in 2008, and reached 1.35 million sq.m in the first quarter of this year.
Last year, the selling price of imports from ASEAN countries was 13-34 per cent higher than the domestic product, but this year that price was 16-18 per cent lower than domestic products, they said.
Tran Quoc Thai, chairman of the Viet Nam Construction Glass Association, said float glass imported from the ASEAN countries had a cheaper selling price because the price of oil, which had greatly affected the production costs of float glass, was 30-40 per cent lower than oil prices on the domestic market, and Viet Nam had also imposed a low import tax of 5 per cent on float glass imports from those countries.
The domestic float glass producers had to cut their production; however, stockpiles were still increasing.
The plaintiffs had proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) release a decision on imposing a fixed tax of US$0.6 per sq.m on imports (with no discrimination of origin) for four years.
While waiting for the official decision from the ministry, the enterprises have proposed the following temporary safeguard measure: import tax rates on floating glass imports of 40 percent for 200 days. This means that besides the import tax rate of 5 per cent for ASEAN-sourced products and 40 per cent for non-ASEAN products, imports would also have to bear an additional 40 per cent tax when entering Viet Nam.
Though the competition, safeguard and anti-dumping ordinance was enacted in 2002, this was the first time Vietnamese producers had "entreated" the ordinance for help.
According to the VCAD, in principle, the MoIT would make a decision on whether to apply safeguard measures within six months of releasing a decision to begin an investigation.
Safeguard measures could be applied when imports were shown to have increased so sharply that they threatened domestic production.
The MoIT had the right to apply temporary safeguard measures before an official decision was made, if it believed imports were causing domestic losses. The measures will not be valid for 200 days. — VNS