TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese authorities have discovered more than 100 instances of Chinese products being labeled as made in Taiwan since 2018, in what officials believe are attempts to evade U.S. tariffs.
According to the country’s Customs Administration, officials say there have been at least 120 cases of illegal transshipment of Chinese products since July 2018, when trade tensions between the U.S. and China began escalating. The Chinese goods were meant to transfer in Taiwan in order to gain fake certificates of origin before export to the U.S. or other overseas destinations, reported the Liberty Times.
Of the illegal shipments, more than 50 were destined for the U.S. This year however, cases of illegal transfer of goods have reduced to around 10, according to the Customs Administration, which can be attributed to increased monitoring from authorities and the global pandemic.
The Bureau of Foreign Trade has recently raised fines for companies mislabeling Chinese goods as being manufactured in Taiwan. Violators will now face a minimum fine of NT$60,000 (US$2,037) for the first instance, with fines doubling for subsequent violations.
The maximum penalty has also been raised to NT$3 million (US$101,828), the bureau said. Companies will also face an import or export ban on their products, it added.
This is not the first time Chinese products have been caught mislabeling their country of origin to evade U.S. tariffs. Vietnam, for example, made a similar complaint in 2019.