TAIPEI: Taiwan will impose heavier penalties on businesses that fake the origin of their products, after an amendment to the Foreign Trade Act was passed at the first reading in the Legislative Yuan on Monday.
The amendment was pushed through to prevent Chinese exporters sidestepping tariffs introduced by the United States by illegally rerouting orders, reported CNA. Goods from China are mislabeled as “Made in Taiwan” before being shipped to the U.S., according to Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津).
Companies that use fake labels on products, false certificates of origin, or export strategically important high-tech goods to restricted areas, will be subject to a fine of between NT$60,000 (US$1,967) and NT$3 million (US$98,371). The original punishment for such crimes was somewhere between NT$30,000-300,000, wrote CNA.
In addition, the amendment added a “whistleblower clause,” which provides incentives to individuals who report wrongdoing by unscrupulous firms. It is hoped the increased penalties and reporting mechanism will help curb such crimes.
The Vietnam government revealed in June that it found Chinese products mislabeled as “Made in Vietnam” by companies trying to dodge U.S. tariffs, which included agricultural products, textiles and steel merchandise. The Southeast Asian country pledged to take action accordingly, including introducing heavier penalties.