Warning about smuggled goods with redirected declaration from border gate customs authority to inland

VCN – In recent times, leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs have requested measures of strict inspection, supervision and control goods at risk of smuggling and trade fraud at border gates, especially road border gates. Recently, there have been signs of smugglers changing the direction of declaring the suspicious consignments from border-gate customs authority to inland customs authorities which have less volume of import and export of goods.
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The shipment of more than 8,000 heating lamps showing signs of counterfeiting HITACHI brand was transported from Lang Son border gate to My Dinh ICD (Hanoi), discovered and arrested by the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and Hanoi Customs Department in January 2021. Photo: T. Bình

Assessing the smuggling and illegal transport of goods across border in the first quarter of 2021, the General Department of Vietnam Customs stated this activity tended to decrease compared to the same period last year, but the nature of the case is complex and the number of infringing goods seized is large.

Notably, the tricks of subjects are more sophisticated with the tendency of changing from customs departments with large volumes of import and export goods to customs departments with less volume of import and export to avoid strict inspection from the customs enforcement force. Most of the cases are violated by establishing bogus companies, not operating business at the registered place or taking advantage of the channel classification system (green, yellow) for smuggling. The violated goods are mainly prohibited goods, small, high-value and easy-to-hide goods such as drugs, weapons, and wildlife products listed in the CITES list (such as rhino horn, ivory, pangolin scales), mobile phones, foreign tobacco or foreign alcohol.

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According to some sources, after the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued a document 119/TCHQ-GSQ directing the units to improve their capacity in customs inspection and control, especially to declare information before goods arriving at border gates of roads or inland waterways; focusing on inspection, supervision and control for imported grocery, consumer goods having signs the firm previously opened the import declaration under the type of importing consumer goods for operating business (code type A11, A12) at the border-gate customs unit, now it is changed to open a declaration at the inland customs unit.

"Although consumer goods had high value, there were signs of incorrect declarations of names to low-value goods to evade taxes, or during the transportation from border gates to inland, they will try to withdraw the goods," the source stated. Facing this situation, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has told local customs units to implement professional measures to promptly detect and handle violations.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, with determination to prevent and strictly handle acts of smuggling and trade fraud to contribute to promoting healthy production and business activities, protecting consumers' interests, in the first quarter, the General Department issued direction documents and warnings to guide the implementation of customs enforcement in the sector.

That is, warning about the tricks of concealing drugs; warning a number of methods and tricks of subjects smuggling and illegally transporting minerals across the border; prevent smuggling and illegal transportation of pigs and firecrackers across the border and strengthen inspection, supervision and control of sturgeon imports from China. Besides that, the General Department of Vietnam Customs continues to urge anti-smuggling forces to strengthen implementation of professional measures, to grasp information about violations, regular reconnaissance, close coordination and participation with other competent sectors and levels in patrol and control in their operation area.

In the first quarter (December 15, 2020 to March 15, 2021), the entire Customs sector tackled a total of 3,242 violation cases, value of infringing goods is estimated to be nearly VND 979 billion and the revenue collection reached VND 52.56 billion, while the customs authority prosecuted five cases and transferred to another agency to propose prosecution of 23 cases, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Some typical cases include: on January 27 and 28, at the ICD My Dinh Inspection Location of Interserco My Dinh Joint Stock Company, Hanoi Customs Department and Northern Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Team found an enterprise imported goods showing signs of intellectual property infringement. The infringing goods included 800 heating lamps brand of NOVA and 8,445 heating lamps, brand HITACHI. The case is being handled by the Northern Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Team in coordination with the North Hanoi Customs Branch (Hanoi Customs Department) and related units to handle in accordance with regulations.

On January 30, at TCS warehouse (Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City), Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch (Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department) worked with Team 6 (Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs) discovered three cases of illegally transporting narcotics across the border. The seized exhibits were about 9 kg of suspected synthetic drugs and 10 bags of suspected marijuana.

On February 1, at the warehouse of Noi Bai Cargo Service Joint Stock Company, Team 1 (Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs) worked with the Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch (Hanoi Customs Department) and discovered and seized more than 1,000 used mobile phones that were banned from import.

On March 10-11, at Tien Sa port, Da Nang, the Da Nang port border gate Customs Branch (Da Nang Customs Department) worked with the Fleet 2 (Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs) and Da Nang Police investigated and found a shipment with signs of violation including containers of imported goods of used garment products, blankets and travel blankets, and Ariel Bio Science water-based detergent (liquid form); three containers of imported goods are machinery and equipment used for kitchen, household electrical appliances; watches of all kinds; bottled food and wine and used garment products. (Source: General Department of Vietnam Customs)

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy

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