Authorities look into Con Cung’s origin of goods issues

August 13, 2018 | 16:27
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After detecting signs of violating regulations on the origin of goods, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has just directed the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to submit a report on Con Cung JSC, one of the leading domestic maternal and baby products distributors, before September 1.
authorities look into con cungs origin of goods issues
Despite sticking in huge scandal, Con Cung launches its seven new stores

Accordingly, the MoIT have to conclude whether Con Cung violated regulations on the origin of goods, then carry out the appropriate sanctions.

At the working session between Con Cung and the MoIT’s Market Surveillance Agency on July 30, Tran Hung, deputy director of the agency, said: “Despite the clear signs of violations, we have yet to reach a conclusion.”

At the session, the Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Branch outlined seven signs of Con Cung’s violations. These include: its stores are unable to show legal documents to prove the origin of imported goods; the information on the packages of “Made in Vietnam” goods is written in Latin instead of Vietnamese; and the firm is sticking labels on products that provide information different from that on the packaging.

Explaining the reason of behind not having the legal documents to prove the origin of goods, Nguyen Quoc Minh, chairman of Con Cung JSC’s Management Board, said: “Con Cung has only one legal dossier for each order, but with 350 stores, Con Cung cannot show all legal documents for all orders at the same time.”

The firm also stated the recent issues have significantly impacted its prestige, and its sales fell by dozens of billions of VND over the last month.

However, contrary to what Con Cung stated about reduced sales, within the last few weeks, the firm launched seven new stores in Ho Chi Minh City, the central city of Nha Trang, the southern cities of Vung Tau and Ca Mau, and the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.

The Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Department inspected 88 Con Cung stores in the city and confiscated more than 120,000 products in order to ascertain their origin.

The signs of violation came to light on May 22, when after buying seven baby products in a Con Cung store in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District, Truong Dinh Cong Vinh discovered that the original tag of a VND329,000 ($14.50) pink suit coded CF-G127011 was replaced by a CF (Con Cung Fashion) tag indicating “Made in Thailand.”

Vinh called the firm to clarify the issue, but instead of explaining the origin of the item, Con Cung apologised and gave him a VND1 million ($44.24) voucher. Dissatisfied with the way the firm attempted to sweep the issue under the rug, Vinh sent a letter of complaint to the Vietnam Competition Authority.

“I do not mind the firm’s apology or the compensation,” said Vinh. “I just want the firm to clarify the issue because the quality of the goods.”

On the evening of July 26, Con Cung released a statement detailing information on the origin of the CF-G127011 product. This information included bills, the process used in offering the product to the market, and a letter which confirmed the manufacturer’s mistake in tags placed on the product batch.

However, Con Cung made no mention of its other products which have been confiscated by the local authorities.

By Van Anh

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