Sao Paulo, Sept. 21 (CNA) Five Taiwanese pencil exporters are being investigated as part of a probe launched by Brazil's government into pencils allegedly bearing fake country of origin labels, an official from the Brazilian trade department said Friday.
Brazil's Secretary of Foreign Trade Tatiana Prazeres told CNA that since last December the government has been investigating whether or not the Taiwanese exporters allegedly used fake country of origin labels to ship China-made products to the country.
The Brazilian government has only banned products from the five firms in Taiwan, which is Brazil's second largest pencil supplier after China, the secretary said.
Brazilian companies allegedly took advantage of Taiwan as a third country to import China-made pencils, Prazeres said, adding that Brazilian importers that purchased products from other Taiwanese firms are also under investigation.
The Brazilian government has levied anti-dumping duties on imports of pencils and colored pencils made in China since 1996 at a rate of 201.4 percent and 202.3 percent, respectively.
The government has requested an explanation from the Taiwanese firms but there has so far been no response, Prazeres said.
Shipments of pencils worth US$3.4 million were exported from Taiwan to Brazil in 2011, but they have been frozen due to the investigation this year.
(By Tang Ya-lin and Hanna Liu)