Reviewing fight against smuggling in 2022

VCN - On February 22, 2023, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, the National Steering Committee 389 held a conference to review the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting in 2022 and set out orientations and key tasks for 2023.
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Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc, Deputy Head of the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee 389 delivers a speech at the conference. Photo: Quang Hung
Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc, Deputy Head of the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee 389 delivers a speech at the conference. Photo: Quang Hung

Attending the conference were the Deputy Heads of the National Steering Committee, members of the National Steering Committee 389 and representatives of the ministries and agencies under the National Steering Committee 389.

Smuggling is still complicated on all routes

Presenting the report of the National Steering Committee 389, the Head of the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee 389 Le Thanh Hai stated that illegal immigration; smuggling and illegal transportation on the Vietnam-China border reduced and has not led to hotspots for smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeit goods.

However, the Vietnam-Laos border has seen drug trafficking from Laos across the border of Dien Bien and Son La provinces to Vietnam for transshipment to China for consumption. In addition, illegal trading and transportation of firecrackers, explosives, cigarettes, and wildlife products across the borders of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces have been increasing.

On the Vietnam-Cambodia border, the suspects have taken advantage of traveling through border crossings, canals, rivers and streams to commit acts of smuggling, trade fraud and illegal cross-border transportation of drugs, firecrackers, cigarettes, sugar, buffalo, cows, alcohol, beer, gold, foreign currency, rice, and groceries from Cambodia to Vietnam.

On the sea route, at seaports, subjects have established new businesses and have not made customs declaration or made false declarations about quantity, value, type, origin to evade taxes, illegally import conditional imports, prohibited goods and goods infringing intellectual property rights.

At sea, smuggling and transport of banned goods such as drugs, explosives, cigarettes, and illegal transport of goods such as gasoline, oil, coal, minerals, electronic goods, and refrigeration, food, frozen goods have showed complicated developments in the seas of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Ninh Thuan, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City, Soc Trang, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.

In 2022, authorities nationwide handled 139,758 cases (an increase of 1.17% year-on-year). Of which, there were 11,945 cases of trading in banned goods, down 17.75%; 124,121 cases of trade fraud, tax fraud, up 2.36%; 3,692 cases of production, trading and transportation of counterfeit goods, poor quality goods, goods infringing intellectual property rights, up 56.51%. Accordingly, the collection and payment to the state budget was VND 12,829 billion, down 29.92%; criminal prosecution of 642 cases/720 suspects, a decrease of 68.96% in the number of cases and a decrease of 73.86% in the number of suspects compared to the same period in 2021.

On international air and postal routes, suspects have taken advantage of express delivery and postal services via air routes, and declared goods in the form of gifts or presents to send to Vietnam in order to illegally transport banned goods such as drugs, precursors, wildlife products, high-value, easy-to-hide items such as foreign currency, cigars, mobile phones, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and supplementary foods.

It is worth mentioning that when the trend of trading and transaction through e-commerce platforms and social networking sites is increasing day by day, the suspects have taken advantage of the business type to trade, transport, and store banned goods, contraband goods, goods of unknown origin, counterfeit goods, poor-quality goods, goods infringing upon intellectual property rights to avoid the inspection, control and detection of competent authorities.

In the domestic area, the situation of production, trading and transportation of banned goods, contraband goods, counterfeit goods, goods with counterfeit trademarks, expired goods, goods infringing upon intellectual property rights, and infringing food hygiene and safety and other commercial frauds takes place in most areas nationwide.

Identify methods and tricks

To effectively implement the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in 2023, the National Steering Committee 389 requested the Steering Committees 389 of ministries, agencies, provinces and centrally-run cities to proactively grasp, and forecast the situation; identify key routes, subjects, items, and emerging activities; identify methods and tricks and propose appropriate solutions to effectively fight and prevent smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting activities in the fields and areas under their management.

A large amount of ivory seized by Hai Phong Customs in coordination with other forces. Photo: Thai Binh
A large amount of ivory seized by Hai Phong Customs in coordination with other forces. Photo: Thai Binh

Further, the National Steering Committee 389 requested local Steering Committees 389 to guide, urge their units at all levels to firmly grasp the situation of areas under management, and investigate and monitor emerging subjects, items and activities; identify new methods and tricks of smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeit goods; effectively implement projects, plans and directive documents of the Government, the Prime Minister, the National Steering Committee 389 on combating smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting.

Moreover, the local Steering Committees 389 are required to develop specialized and peak programs and plans, solutions to organize forces, means and take measures to inspect, control, detect, prevent and handle smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods; focus on hitting masterminds, leaders of complicated rings, groups and areas.

To actively connect, exchange, share information, and coordinate with other forces, units and local agencies in the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting.

To regularly review difficulties and problems, especially problems related to the place of production, origin of goods, counterfeit goods, goods infringing on intellectual property rights, e-commerce activities, to propose amendments, addition or replacing of inadequate policies and laws, contributing to improving the effectiveness of the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting; receive and promptly solve information on smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeit goods via hotlines.

To uphold and associate the responsibilities of heads of agencies, authorities, units and localities at all levels with their performance; strengthen the inspection and examination of duty performance to prevent negative, promptly detect, prevent and strictly handle those who lack a sense of responsibility, violate discipline and law, engage in or abet smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting.

By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang

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