In February, Vietnam announced plan to impose anti-dumping duties up to 34% on raw sugar from Thailand, claiming that high imports are undermining its own domestic industry.
No decision has been made yet on the date of implementation, however its Thai counterparts are now discussing with their sugar traders to prepare a document to seek clarification on this matter from Vietnam.
Vietnam removed import duties on sugar imported from ASEAN countries in 2020 in accordance with the commitments of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). However, there are provisions which allow ASEAN countries to impose import duties to protect the rights and interests of their domestic industries against anti-competitive behavior.
The decision to reintroduce duties specifically for raw sugar comes after the Vietnamese ministry conducted an anti-dumping investigation that started last September, following complaints by Vietnam sugar industry officials.
Preliminary findings showed that subsidised (and dumping) sugar from Thailand surged to 1.3 million tonnes in 2020, up 330.4% from 2019. This has resulted in the closure of a number of domestic sugar factories, as well as causing negative impact on Vietnamese farmers.
Investigation is still ongoing and will be concluded by 2nd quarter 2021.