Vietnam re-allows cell phones, other goods, to be imported by air

TN News

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Vietnam 's Ministry of Industry and Trade has revoked its requirement that all cell phones, cosmetics and wine must be imported by sea to one of the country's three largest ports.

The move was motivated by complaints lodged by local companies that said the regulation seriously stymied their businesses.

The news decision was made on January 1 and took effect immediately, with the ministry saying it aimed to "simplify the paperwork and resolve difficulties companies are facing," news website ICTnews reported.

In June of 2011, the ministry required that all cell phones, cosmetics and wine be imported via the country's three largest ports in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hai Phong.

It justified the regulation saying it would prevent the importation of counterfeit goods and trade fraud because the three ports had proper facilities needed to check shipments that may have been lacking at other ports.

But local companies have consistently opposed the rule, especially cell phones exporters, saying the regulation impeded imports.

Viettel and Vinaphone, for example, said high-tech goods need to be shipped fast with careful oversight and that shipping by sea is three to four times slower than transporting by air.

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