Vietnam asked to lift unfair restriction on Thai cars

Thailand has demanded Vietnam to lift what it alleged as discriminatory import restriction on cars exported to Vietnam, including cars from Thailand.

The issue was been raised with the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee of the World Trade Organization by the Commerce Ministry in coordination with the United States, Japan and European Union.

Foreign Trade Department director-general Mrs Oramon Sapthaveetham said that Vietnam’s technical barrier was discriminatory and gave favour to cars assembled in Vietnam at the disadvantage to imported cars, which does not conform with WTO agreement.

She pointed out that the restriction which came into force as of January requiring every shipment of imported cars to go through environmental and safety standard inspections  caused unnecessary delay and increased cost for car exporters.

She said that the matter had been raised with Vietnam at bilateral and multi-lateral forums in order to solve the problem in conformity with WTO rules.

Despite positive sign from Vietnam after about 2,000 cars from Thailand have been allowed into the country, Mrs Oramon said the restriction has caused unnecessary delay and uncertainty among exporters.

She, however, said the same issue would be raised at the Thai-Vietnam JTC in June.

Last year, Thailand exported 37,000 cars worth 20 billion baht into Vietnam regarded as a major car export market of Thailand.