Adding power to Customs proposed

VCN – Giving extra powers to Customs has been proposed in a report on the results of fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting in the first six months of 2022 and orientations and tasks for the last six months of 2022 of the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance.
Solutions support enterprises to overcome difficulties Solutions support enterprises to overcome difficulties
Customs processes about 13 million declarations per year Customs processes about 13 million declarations per year
Adding power to Customs proposed
The Customs force has presided over and coordinated with other forces to bust many cases of illegal cross-border drug transportation. In the photo, drugs in a shipment transported from Europe to Vietnam by air in early June 2022 are discovered by the Northern Hanoi Customs Branch (Hanoi Customs Department) in coordination with other authorities. Photo: N.Linh

Ordering fake goods from abroad

The situation of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal cross-border transportation of goods in the first months of 2022 is still a problem, with acts such as; failure to declare or making inaccurate declarations of import and export shipments; concealment of origin and route of the shipment; import of ineligible goods; mixing infringing goods in import and export goods to evade inspection and control by domestic and foreign authorities; and taking advantage of temporary import for re-export and independent transportation for smuggling.

According to regulations, the Customs has right to prosecute for three crimes, including: smuggling; illegal cross-border transportation of goods and currency; Manufacturing and trading in prohibited goods.

Suspects often use cars, motorbikes, and speedboats or illegally carry and transport to bring goods them across the border at night and arrange people to monitor authorities. When being chased, the suspects abandon vehicles and goods to flee, then incite people to come to the scene to confront officers and create pressure to disperse goods; the masterminds and leaders often hire people and vehicles to transport goods, making it difficult for investigation.

In addition, some suspects order the production of fake goods from abroad and then import them to the home country, leading to poor-quality goods, fake goods and goods of unknown origin widely traded in cyberspace. Suspect take advantage of websites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Zalo to sell, advertise, and promote many fake products, goods infringing intellectual property rights, goods of unknown origin and poor-quality goods.

Regarding the situation of drug crimes, the activities of trafficking of narcotics and precursors across the border are still very complicated, especially via air and express delivery via Noi Bai international airport and Tan Son Nhat international airport. Transnational drug crime lines take advantage of policies for encouraging and attracting investment to establish businesses in Vietnam, then transport vehicles, equipment, raw materials and rent warehouses, etc. This poses many challenges to the control, prevention and fight against drug trafficking and illicit transportation of goods across border.

Faced with the above situation, closely following the direction of the Government, the Prime Minister, the National Steering Committee 389, the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs and the General Department of Taxation has drastically take professional measures and achieved many positive results.

Additional power to prosecute five crimes

Despite remarkable results, the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance assessed that the fight against smuggling still face difficulties and obstacles, including in handling violations.

Specifically, in the operation of criminal investigation, the seizure, preservation and use of evidences to serve the investigation is very important, but the Customs agency is not allowed by law to build a warehouse to detent the evidences (according to the provisions of Decree 18/2002/ND-CP dated February 18, 2002 of the Government promulgating the Regulation on management of physical evidence warehouses as amended and supplemented in Decree 70/2013. /ND-CP dated July 2,2013, only police, military and judgment enforcement agencies are allowed to organize warehouses to store evidences for investigation, prosecution, trial and criminal judgment execution).

Therefore, when confiscating evidences, Customs must send them to the police, affecting the progress and efficiency of the investigation of the case.

In addition, in order to strengthen the detection and timely handling of crimes occurring in the customs area, to meet the practical requirements of crime prevention and control in the near future, the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance propose to add regulations on power for the Customs authority to prosecute and investigate for five crimes including: hoarding and and transporting banned goods; tax evasion; trafficking in counterfeit goods; illegal cross-border transportation and trading of narcotics; and illegal import of waste into Vietnam.

In the first six months of the year, the General Department of Customs and the General Department of Taxation presided over and coordinated with other forces to handle thousands of violations.

Customs handled 7,534 cases with estimated value of goods of over VND3,771 billion; prosecuted 24 cases, transferred to other agencies 55 cases; and collected over VND209 billion.

Regarding drugs, the Customs dismantled 151 cases and 147 suspects, seized 100.84kg of heroin; 72.83kg of cannabis; 41,618kg of opium; 374,039 kg of drugs and 46,483 pills of synthetic drugs…

Tax force inspected 26,910 businesses and fined more than VND18, 813billion, and paid to the State budget VND3,335.4 billion .

By Thai Binh/Huyen Trang

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