Vietnam levies new tariff on imported MSG seasoning

By Hong Suong, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnam's competition authority has announced an additional duty on imported monosodium glutamate, or MSG, in an effort to protect local production which has been hurt by the influx of cheap imports.
With the exception of products from developing countries such as Angola and Myanmar, whose MSG exports account for less than 3 percent of Vietnam's total imports, other imports will have to pay an extra tax of around VND4.39 million a ton, the agency said in a statement on Monday.
The levy will be applicable in a year starting March 25, and will be reduced by 10 percent annually over the next three years, it said, citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Currently Vietnam taxes imported MSG products at 20 percent.
The ministry imposed the additional duty after finding that the surge of cheap imports in recent years, including those from China, has caused "serious damage" to local producers who saw sharp declines in their outputs, sales and operations, according to the agency.
It announced the findings last week after wrapping its investigation into MSG imports, which was launched in September last year as requested by Taiwanese producer Vedan Vietnam.
The seasoning product is used widely in many Asian countries, including Vietnam.
Vietnam started seeing an increase in its MSG imports in 2012 when more than 18,000 tons were brought into the country, more than a double from the previous year, according to figures from the ministry.
The imports soared 142.2 percent to around 43,930 tons in 2013 and then nearly 58,450 tons in 2014, it said.

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