US increases tariffs on Vietnamese shrimp

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has announced final results of the fourth administrative review on Vietnamese shrimps exported to the US, which was conducted from February 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009.

According to the final results, only one Vietnamese shrimp exporter enjoyed tax reduction while the remaining companies must pay higher duties compared to the preliminary results announced in March this year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said one of the two compulsory defendants in the anti-dumping lawsuit, the Minh Phu Seafood Company, will pay a lower duty, from 3.27 percent to 2.96 percent, while the second, the Nha Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company, will have its tariff increased to 5.58 percent from the current 2.5 percent.

The anti-dumping duties on shrimp products from 29 companies which are not compulsory defendants will be raised from 2.89 percent to 4.27 percent while those imposed for companies out of the review will still remain at 25.76 percent.

Vietnamese companies are subject to higher duties than Indian exporters. The highest duty imposed on an Indian company is 4.44 percent while the rate for Vietnamese is 5.58 percent. Other Indian companies also pay lower duties than Vietnamese exporters, at only 2.67 percent.

In April this year, Vietnam asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body to set up a panel to review US anti-dumping measures imposed on frozen warm water shrimp from Vietnam.

Recently, WTO General Director Pascal Lamy appointed three members to the panel. Normally, after six months, the panel board will make its final report on the lawsuit for concerned parties.

This is the first time Vietnam has launched a trade lawsuit since against a WTO member it joined the WTO in January 2007.