E-commerce: Relevant Legal Provisions against Violations Needed

05-Dec-2020 Intellasia | Vietnam Business Forum | 6:02 AM Print This Post

In the first six months of 2020, the market watchdog nationwide inspected 2,403 cases, handled 2,213 violations and issued fines more than VND16.4 billion on goods with a value of VND40.6 billion. Common violations in e-commerce included smuggled goods, origin-unknown goods, pirated goods and counterfeited goods.

The report released by the Vietnam directorate of Market Surveillance (DMS) showed that, on November 12, 2020, after studying and capturing information on commodity trading on social networks (like Zalo and Facebook) and deploying professional measures to monitor cases with signs of violation, the Market Management Team No. 2 under the Hai Duong Provincial Market Control Department discovered nearly 3,000 smuggled cosmetic items and household goods without labels, invoices or customs declarations.

With serial cases of using social networks and e-commerce websites to trade in fake goods, smuggled goods and knockoffs, a lot of loopholes and shortcomings of business administration on social networks and e-commerce websites as well as consumer risks in dealing through these forms have been revealed. Meanwhile, it is very difficult to conduct investigations to uncover violations on electronic platforms.

According to Tran Huu Linh, general director of the Vietnam directorate of Market Surveillance under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the biggest difficulty in online business administration is violators often introduce genuine products on the website but they deliver knockoffs, faked goods or origin-unknown items with no quality assurance.

Moreover, clear violations (caught in the act) lack urgent measures to prevent and handle in time. The settlement must go through many complicated procedures such as verification of concerned registrants and website owners, verification of e-commerce transactions and violation proofs.

Furthermore, it is very difficult to trace, retrieve and store e-commerce transactions. Online transactions and payments are lightning fast and invisible. There is no clear place of business and it cannot be checked immediately. What’s more, sellers do not give specific addresses on websites or via social networks but only telephone numbers for transaction, he added. In addition, the participation of owners of protected trademarks or holders of property rights in this process is still limited, especially for products of foreign origin.

Regulations on e-commerce violations are in fact detailed in Decree 52/2013/ND-CP but e-commerce market development is so fast and continuous that it requires frequent adjustments and updates, which are expected to be issued in the upcoming decree being drafted by the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

According to the general Department of Vietnam Customs, smugglers and counterfeiters are using postal and delivery companies to deliver their goods to consumers. Therefore, it is urgently recommended to amend relevant legal provisions to prevent the use of delivery channels to sell counterfeit and fake goods in the e-commerce environment.

In particular, it is necessary to enhance the responsibility of e-commerce platforms and social networks which will block accounts without enough information given or showing signs of law violations.

Consumers themselves must also improve their sense of responsibility when they buy goods and must be aware of their duties in combating acts of counterfeiting goods, infringing intellectual property rights and making origin-unclear products. This is not only to protect their own rights and interests, but also to protect lawful business and production development and prevent destructive acts that inhibit the healthy development of the economy.



Category: Business, Vietnam

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