Spreading fake goods smuggled goods offered for sale online


On April 12, 2023, Hanoi Market Surveillance broke the distribution center of smuggled Chinese domestic cakes for business entities on e-commerce. Source: Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance
On April 12, 2023, Hanoi Market Surveillance broke the distribution center of smuggled Chinese domestic cakes for business entities on e-commerce. Source: Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance

Students are participating

According to the General Department of Market Surveillance, the e-commerce business is witnessing a boom and a strong development, attracting many businesses, organizations and individuals to participate.

Because of the fast growth rate and increasing revenue, the subjects have taken advantage of every loophole to provide information about goods, transaction information on the Internet, online promotion and massive promotions. It is worth mentioning, smuggling or bringing goods of unknown origin through border gates, borders, seaports, airports are sold on the domestic market on an increasingly large scale.

Deputy Director of the Department of Market Surveillance Nguyen Duc Le said that besides the positive development, the situation of offering fake, banned and smuggled goods on e-commerce sites and social networks is increasing and potentially complicated, causing serious impact, threatening the general business environment, seriously affecting consumer’s confidence.

“The subjects participating in the sale and offering of goods that are counterfeit, smuggled and banned goods are mainly small businesses or individuals, even students. Commercial websites often use images that can be real, genuine goods to advertise and offer for sale at a much lower price than genuine stores and sales addresses to entice consumers, use branded goods but with low prices such as watches, eyeglasses, clothes, and shoes.

In particular, a social networking site offers to sell banned goods including uncirculated drugs, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smuggled cigars, weapons, and supporting tools. When users agree to buy, they can continue to use non-cash intermediary payment tools (transfer via a 3rd party, telecommunications scratch cards, use payment by QR code) or use forwarding and shipping services and delivery of goods with collection of money from customers but in fact the received goods are fake, smuggled goods, of unknown origin.

“Objects often use an unrelated address, a bogus address, or fake an address to transact, but gather and store goods at many different locations or combine both a place of transaction and accommodation, hiding goods so it is difficult for investigation, inspection, arrest and handling of administrative violations,” added Mr. Nguyen Duc Le.

Essential to build an online database

Through fighting fraud in the field of e-commerce, the market surveillance force encountered many difficulties, the inspection and handling by the authorities required specific signs and evidence of violations.

While transactions and payments on the network are at risk of being cancelled, traces are erased very quickly, there is no clear business location, and cannot be checked immediately; E-commerce websites can be closed instantly. Most transactions of counterfeit goods, of unknown origin, and prohibited goods do not have specific invoices and documents, so detection, management, storage and handling becomes even more difficult.

Therefore, to improve the effectiveness of fighting and preventing violations through e-commerce business activities, Mr. Nguyen Duc Le proposed the establishment of a specialized agency to act as the focal point to coordinate the provision and distribution of goods, share databases and information to serve the fight against commercial fraud and counterfeit goods in the e-commerce environment.

In particular, it is necessary to apply technological measures (online databases) to provide, share, use and exploit information and data for the prevention of commercial fraud and counterfeit goods. In addition, it is crucial to raise the responsibility of e-commerce platforms and social networking sites in screening, preventing and blocking accounts that do not provide sufficient information, accounts with signs of trading infringing goods.

It is necessary to regulate that e-commerce floors and sellers on e-commerce floors must make statistics and store all transactions on the system to trace transactions and the origin of goods.

Consumers must actively equip themselves with online shopping skills, and be wary of chasing offers on electronic devices. At the same time, consumers themselves must also raise a sense of responsibility when buying goods. They must be aware of the important task of combating counterfeit goods, infringement of intellectual property rights, and goods of unknown origin.

According to the report of the Market Surveillance Departments of the provinces and cities, from January 1, 2019 to the end of April 2023, the market management force nationwide inspected 2,559 cases, handled 2,180 cases of violations on e-commerce and acts of taking advantage of e-commerce to trade in smuggled goods, goods of unknown origin, infringing goods upon intellectual property rights, and counterfeit goods; fined nearly 36.5 billion VND, confiscated goods worth more than 42 billion VND.


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