Resolutely Handling Imported Autos Installed with Software Infringing Vietnam’s Sovereignty

2:03:05 PM | 11/15/2019

Some automobile models in Vietnam are reportedly installed with GPS-enabled navigators displaying incorrect images about Vietnam’s water sovereignty (including 9-dash line map).

At the Vietnam Motor Show 2019, which took place from October 23, 2019 to October 27, 2019, at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, Volkswagen displayed the imported Volkswagen Touareg SUV with a nine-dash line map. The official inspection reportedly revealed that this was one of the two four-door five-seater Volkswagen Touareg (CR745J and CR746J) hired by World Automobile Co., Ltd. From Volkswagen Group Import Company Limited (China). According to Official Letter 2971/SCT-QLXNK dated May 17, 2019, issued by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, the company conducted procedures for temporary import of the above consignment on the Customs Declaration Form 102901901130/G13 dated October 1, 2019 for the Vietnam Motor Show.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDC) chaired two meetings on this matter with representatives of Public Security, Justice, Industry and Trade, Culture, Sports and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment, Transport, Information and Communications agencies, the Supreme People's Procuracy and the Government Office. Basically, concerned agencies all agreed on the need to strictly deal with organizations and individuals importing, displaying and hosting auto fairs and equipment installed with GPS-enabled navigators that use incorrect images of Vietnam's sovereignty of territorial waters in accordance with relevant laws, such as Law on Commerce and Law on Publication.

GDC requested provincial/municipal customs agencies to check vehicles imported from China, with attention placed on those installed with GPS-enabled navigation software. In case of detecting a device installed with contents or images violating national territorial sovereignty and distorting history, customs authorities must suspend customs clearance and handle violations according to Article 28 Decree 159/2013/ND-CP.

GDC will integrate results and make a report to the Prime Minister, suggesting the Prime Minister assign the Ministry of Transport to include installed GPS-enabled devices in vehicle quality inspection. If they carry maps showing incorrect images of territorial sovereignty of Vietnam, they may not be granted certificates of technical safety and environmental protection inspection for road motor vehicles, and would be handled or transferred to competent agencies for settlement under the law.

In case of being exempted from quality inspection according to Government regulations, customs authorities shall physically inspect the shipment of imported vehicles from China, with attention necessarily paid to GPS devices installed with navigation software.