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Fake and smuggled cosmetics in Ho Chi Minh city

08:12 | 03/07/2018

VCN- In Ho Chi Minh City market, fake and smuggled cosmetics are sold publicly everywhere, potentially affecting the health of consumers and being a challenge for the competent forces in the combat and prevention.

fake and smuggled cosmetics in ho chi minh city Customs collaborates to against smuggling counterfeit cosmetic, medicine and supplementary foods
fake and smuggled cosmetics in ho chi minh city Inspection and discovery a container of cosmetics importing illegally via Cat Lai port
fake and smuggled cosmetics in ho chi minh city Illicit cosmetic products of billions of vnd are detected
fake and smuggled cosmetics in ho chi minh city
Fake products are sold publicly in some markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nguyen Hue.


According to the reporter, fake cosmetics of famous brands are sold in the market at a ten times cheaper price than real cosmetics. Typically, in Go Vap and Kim Bien market, some stores sell fake perfume brands Gucci, Chanel, Bvlgari at prices from VND 50,000 to VND 120,000 / vial of 250-300ml. While, these perfumes are sold by the official distribution shops at prices of millions of dollars. Fake make-up powder, blush cushion brands by Mac, Shiseido, Lancome and Chanel are sold at only tens of thousands of dong per box; full colour range of lipsticks in all brands are sold at 20,000 VND to 50,000 VND / stick.

At a shop located in the area selling cosmetics of Binh Tay market, I was invited to buy a set of 24 lipsticks at the price of VND 265,000. Another type which was introduced as high-end Korean lipsticks, is sold at VND 525,000 per set of 12 lipsticks. At Thanh Da market, a box of Stives SPF Sunblockis sold at 90,000 VND / box, but the same product in the market is sold at Ba Chieu market at only VND 50,000. Because according to the traders, these are fake US brand goods made in China. At Thanh Da, Nhat Tao and Go Vap markets, every 2-3 days, all kinds of fake cosmetics of domestic and international famous brands are sold on pavements at a price of VND38,000 / product. From our observation, various kinds of products are sold such as; lipstick, powder, cushion, sunscreen, lotion, white cream, mask, perfume, shower gel, cleansing foam, melisma and freckle cream, with many international brands names such as Loreal, Chanel, Vichy, Pond, Avene, the Face Shop, Dior, Kenzo, Versace, Calvin Klein, etc., and many domestic brands. Most products have not been packed or their packages are deformed, distorted, torn, scratched. But considering carefully, we could see that the colour, brand and information on products, expiry date, even bar codes are printed exactly the same as the real one.

According to the introduction by a seller, these products were imported from Shiseido Korea Company and deformed during the transportation, so they cannot be sold at supermarkets. According to this seller, the distributor of these products has four employees who are assigned alternately to sell these products in markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Each employee shallsell products 2 to 3 daysa week in each market.

At a recent workshop on fake goods in HCM City, a representative from Loreal brand, France confirmed that 75% of Loreal cosmetic products sold are fake goods. These products are sold mainly at the markets and cosmetic shops in the city. In particular, 100% of perfume and hair wax products sold in the market are fake goods and smuggled goods. In addition to the above two items, many other cosmetic products are also fake, such as mascara, eyemakeup sets, skin care products, male hair wax, hair dye, lipstick, eye powder ... In other localities, fake and smuggled cosmetics are sold in the central market. Fake cosmetics are sold at markets from VND 20,000 to VND120,000 and at cosmetics shops from VND 80,000 to 150,000 VND.

A representative from Sai Gon Cosmetics Company - a large cosmetics company in Vietnam also said, the products faking this company’s products accounted for a high market share, typically with Cindy and Miss Saigon perfumes. According to Saigon Cosmetics Company, the company’s products are faked in large number. By the end of 2017, the Market Management Department of Ho Chi Minh City has detected and arrested a large number of fake Cindy perfume brand of Saigon Cosmetics Company. In Da Nang market, the company's perfume Miss Saigon has also been faked to sell to tourists, and there is even a shop that rents space at Lotte supermarket selling Saigon branded fake perfumes.

According to enterprises, the technology for counterfeiting is increasingly sophisticated, consumers find it difficult to distinguish. The speed of counterfeiting is also very fast. Mr. Bui Quang Loc, Director of Strategic Planning and Strategy of Saigon Cosmetics, said that in 2017, the company invested a considerable amount of money to change the packaging design by using high-tech anti-counterfeiting stamps from Germany to fight fake goods. With this change, the company's revenue doubled over the same period. However, after just one year, the company said that fake perfumes branded Cindy, Miss Saigon with anti-counterfeit stamps were loaded in containers and shipped to Vietnam to prepare to sell on the market.

Smuggled cosmetics "branded" foreign products

The psychology of buying foreign products of Vietnamese consumers is a potential market for the development of foreign cosmetics. In Ho Chi Minh City, more than 10 famous shops selling foreign cosmetics were publicized online. Typical are Sammi Shop HCM, Bici Cosmetic, Cosmetic Sheet; Korean cosmetics HCM; Beauty Koala ... Most of these shops have a retailsystem with many cosmeticretail shops which are invested professionally in the central districts of the city. At the markets, most of the cosmetic shops are selling foreign products with full brands from low to high prices. Besides the offline shops selling foreign products, consumers can easily find a variety of foreign cosmetics with all brands from the online shops. Consumers just type the phrase "foreign cosmetics" in Google search and it will show 25.6 million results in just 0.85 seconds (18th June 2018) with all kinds of foreign cosmetics from France, USA, South Korea, Russia, Australia, Germany and Japan.

According to the reporter, a prominent feature of foreign cosmetics is that most products are not labeled in Vietnamese and are usually 20-50% cheaper than real ones. According to experts in this industry, most these foreign products are mainly smuggled fake goods because they not only do not have the Vietnamese label, but also are not announced or authorized to use the brand. For these products, most information about origin and product quality is difficult to verify and most buyers only put their trust in sellers.

According to Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Tuyet Trinh, Director of Communications and Foreign Affairs of L'OREAL Vietnam Co., Ltd: "Many cosmetic products are labeled as foreign products, in fact they are fake and smuggled goods. Becasue there is not the case that only within a week, thousands of mascara can be provided. It is noteworthy that many foreign cosmetic products that have not been announced have been sold at many Vietnamese store chains, including highly reputed store chains”.

fake and smuggled cosmetics in ho chi minh city Smuggled goods still flow inland via Highway 18

VCN- To consolidate containers in buses and trucks for carrying cosmetics, cigarettes ..., which are not new ...

An expert from the Ministry of Health also said that Circular 06/2011 / TT-BYT of the Ministry of Health stipulates that imported cosmetics must carry out import procedures at the Customs office as prescribed. The total value of goods is exempt from import duty and not subject to product announcement in the norm of VND1 million. Cosmetic samples imported in these forms are not allowed to be circulated in the market. In addition, cosmetic products used for diplomatic or embassy staff must also be certified as only for diplomats and embassies and are not allowed to be sold in the market.

By Nguyen Hue/ Huyen Trang