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Despite the ban, used computers still infiltrate into Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of used information technology products subject to the import ban regulation have still been getting through the customs agencies and available at the domestic shops.


used computers, import, rubbish



The pavement electronics markets gathered on Le Thanh Nghi Street in Hanoi or Ton That Tung in HCM City have been flooding with used computers, though the ban on the import of used information technology products was released 3.5 years ago already.

In December 2009, the Ministry of Information and Communication released the Circular No. 43, listing the used information technology products which must not be imported to Vietnam.

The decision, which took effects since February 15, 2010, clearly stipulates that Vietnam prohibits the import of used laptops, including notebooks and subnotebooks.

Observers have confirmed that the supply of used laptops is profuse, while the purchasing power is still high. In principle, the used products here could be sourced from the people, who bought brand new products for use and late re-sold their computers. However, the observers said the supply source is small, which cannot satisfy the dealers at the electronics markets.

It’s very easy to find out the used laptops prohibited to enter Vietnam as stipulated in the Circular No. 43 by checking the manufacturing dates shown on the bodies of the laptops.

Most of the used laptops available at the pavement electronics markets were made after 2010. There are also the products made in 2011, 2012. These include the illegally imported products.

Which ways have the used laptops been penetrating into Vietnam?

On July 19, 2013, the Hai Phong City Customs Agency announced it has discovered 10 containers of import products with suspicious signs.

The agency then found that six containers had 218 used high cylinder capacity motorbikes, 500-1,800 cc, the import of which violated the government’s decree No. 12.

It also discovered 11,425 used laptops of different kinds, 11,787 computer screens and 1,760 computer CPUs, which were put in 4 containers shipped from Hong Kong to Hai Phong port.

Prior to that, in June 2013, the HCM City Customs Agency found out that VH, a HCM City based company, declared it received two consignments of plastic beads, but in fact, received thousands of used computers, laptops and computer accessories worth VND3 billion.

However, the company refused the consignments, saying that the imports were ownerless.

Observers believe that the electronic rubbish has been imported to Vietnam not only through the official channel, but also across the Vietnam – Cambodia border in the southwest, or the Vietnam – China border in the north.

The availability of used information technology products has caused big worries to the public. No one can give the explanations why the competent agencies, which have power and well equipped instruments, remain powerless to the electronic rubbish imports.

Over the last 3.5 years, the rubbish imports still have escaped the watch of customs agencies, police and the market management taskforce to reach to the domestic electronics markets.

Environmentalists have many times warned that Vietnam is getting the electronics rubbish dumping ground due to the lack of management over the imports.

Tam Thoi

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