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MINH PHU GROUP: PRESS RELEASE, 20 January 2020
January 24, 2020, 03:02 PM
On 16 January 2020, Minh Phu Group (MPG) became aware, through press and media sources, that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department (CBP) has officially initiated a formal investigation of the alleged evasion of anti-dumping duties (AD duties) by MSeafood, a U.S subsidiary of MPG (the EAPA Investigation). MPG also learned that the CBP applied preliminary measures (the Decision) in accordance with the complaint from the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Enforcement Committee (AHSTEC). As of the date of this press release, MPG and MSeafood have not yet received any official document from CBP in relation to this matter.

MPG and MSeafood were not consulted during the process and were never given an opportunity to comment on the issues presented by AHSTEC and information collected by CPB.  In fact, on September 13, 2019, because of rumors of such an investigation, MPG submitted over 700 pages of documents refuting directly the AHSTEC allegations.  This submission was totally ignored by CBP in its Decision.  We regret that CBP resorted to imposing measures on MPG in the Decision, without reference to any facts other than vague and unproven allegations of AHSTEC.  MPG is confident, based on information already compiled and submitted to CBP, that there is no credible basis for CBP to find that MPG has evaded anti-dumping duties. The provisional measures are only preliminary and temporary in nature. MPG has hired counsel to represent its interest during the course of the investigation and provide relevant information and evidence to the CBP for full consideration.  MPG is confident that this CBP action will not be sustained and is working to obtain a favorable resolution as soon as possible.

MPG strongly disagrees with the Decision, and the non-transparent and one-sided process which led to its adoption. Nonetheless, in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation, MPG intends to fully collaborate with CBP throughout the EAPA Investigation. MPG has the requisite experience and knowledge to deal with such a situation, having engaged in more than 10 years of anti-dumping investigations together with other members of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers. MPG is confident that in the course  of a full EAPA Investigation, CBP will make a final decision based on the facts rather than the speculation on which it has based its present Decision.

In order for the public and MPG’s customers to better understand the Decision and its impact on MPG, we wish to clarify the following matters.

MPG would like to assure our loyal customers in the US that the Decision is only temporary. Accordingly, MPG is required to pay, on a temporary basis, the anti-dumping duty applied to India (ca. 10 percent) on its shipments to the US. MPG confirms that such measure will not affect its export activities to US or other markets. All production and export activities of MPG will still executed as planned.

MPG is confident that it can demonstrate that it did not import frozen shrimp from India for export to the US. In fact, MPG has not purchased shrimp products from India (or any other country) and exported the same to the US. MPG only purchased limited Indian shrimp as material input which were processed in its facilities under strict precautions and full traceability and exported to other countries with which MPG conducts business.  A majority of MPG exports are not to the U.S.  Imports from India are carefully monitored to assure that they are not shipped to the U.S.

CBP specifically stated that the Decision was taken on the basis of unverified information and numbers. Although MPG requires more time to fully assess the Decision and the information on which it was based, our preliminary review has identified a large number of inaccurate references, erroneous information and misleading extracts from which critical data appears to have been intentionally omitted by AHSTEC.

MPG believe that before taking its final decision, CBP will allow MPG and MSeafood to clarify the data supplied by AHSTEC and rebut erroneous allegations. We are hopeful that CBP will be able to gain a better understanding of MPG’s business and reach the appropriate conclusion. We further hope that MPG’s right to due process under US law will be upheld and that the EAPA Investigation will, from this point onwards, follow a transparent and fair procedures for all parties involved.   

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Specialist on Shrimp market
Ms Kim Thu
Tel: 84.24.3771.5055 (ext 203)
Portal of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)
Head office in HCM city: No 7, Nguyen Quy Canh Road, An Phu Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: (+84 28) 62810430 / Fax: (+84 28) 62810437 - Email: vasephcmcity@vasep.com.vn
Rep. office in Ha Noi: 10 Nguyen Cong Hoan Street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi City, Vietnam
Tel: (+84 24) 37715055 / 37715318 - Fax: (+84 24) 37715084 - Email: vasephn@vasep.com.vn
In charge of content: Nguyen Hoai Nam (Mr) – Deputy General Secretary of VASEP
Managing Editor: Phung Thi Kim Thu (Ms.) Tel: (+84 24) 37715055 (ext: 203)
Email: kimthu@vasep.com.vn
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