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When “hot border” sees peaceful situation- Last part: Non-operation at Lao Cai

14:47 | 13/09/2022

VCN - Customs News visited Lao Cao Border Gate and saw that the trade in the area was quiet.

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When “hot border” sees peaceful situation- Last part: Non-operation at Lao Cai
Footwear products in the consignment suspected of infringing intellectual property are seized by the North Anti-smuggling enforcement team and Lao Cai International Customs Branch.

In fact, In July, the high-risk areas of smuggling and illegal transportation of goods, which have been mentioned by the press, such as the checkpoint for import and export goods, luggage at Lao Cai Border Gate and Kim Thanh Border Gate; the area along the border of Nam Thi river of Lao Cai ward, from Lao Cai city to Nam So village, Ban Phiet commune, Bao Thang district; from Duyen Hai ward, Lao Cai city to Quang Kim commune, Bat Xat district; Lao Cai Station area, Dong Pho Moi industrial park with inland port - ICD, and bonded warehouses did not see any notable problems.

The head of the North Anti-smuggling Enforcement Team Bui Trong Thanh said due to the application of ‘Zero Covid’ by the Chinese government to control the Covid-19 pandemic in the first months of the year, the border management by the two countries changed.

The trade at major border gates and border crossings between the two sides was restricted or suspended. Therefore, the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border gates decreased.

To prevent this situation, the Team has taken measures to closely control the area and effectively combat smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transportation of goods across the border gates, ensuring the accomplishment of tasks in 2022.

In the remaining months of the year, Team 1 will implement directions by the General Department of Vietnam Customs in Official Dispatch 2352/TCHQ-DTCBL dated June 16, 2022 on coordination in the prevention and fight against smuggling, trade fraud, illegal transportation of goods across the border gates.

The Team has strengthened information collection and analysis, monitored the situation, and strictly controlled targeted areas, products to promptly handle customs and tax violations.

“Due to the pandemic, the official goods are not even available for loading and unloading,” said a shipper at Kim Thanh Border Gate.

This is a rather strange situation because Kim Thanh II International Border Gate is a busy trading area on the Northern Border and is considered a “365-day performance border gate”.

Statistics of Lao Cai Customs Department showed that the import and export activities across the area in the first months of the year plunged, even at Kim Thanh II International Border Gate, and sub-border gates such as Muong Khuong and Ban Vuoc.

In the first half of the year, the trade in goods across the Lao Cai International Customs Branch decreased by 63.8% to US$290 million year-on-year. The number of declaration forms fell by 65% to 10,761 forms. The revenue went down by 27.8% to VND278 billion compared with the target.

Deputy Director of Lao Cai Customs Department Duong Xuan Sinh said in the first months of the year, the import and export activities in Kim Thanh II International Border Gate were considered the “non-operation” in Kim Thanh II International Border Gate.

By mid-April 2022, import and export activities resumed. However, the operation is still limited, only about 100 vehicles transporting imports and exports across the border gate per day while about 500 vehicles per day in the previous time. The import and export activities at the sub-border gates and border crossing were suspended; items imported and exported across the railway border gate were mainly phosphorus, fertilizer, coke, and cassava in small quantities due to the Covid-19 prevention and control by the Chinese side, leading to the stagnation of cross-border trade transactions.

Regarding cross-border goods smuggling and illegal transportation, Deputy Director Duong Xuan Sinh said that the political and border security in Lao Cai province is quite stable.

Due to the complicated development of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first months of the year, the two countries' law enforcement have strictly controlled the border gate, especially the implementation of the "Zero Covid" policy by the Chinese government.

However, there is still a potential risk of mixing smuggled goods across the border gate and railway station. Facing that situation, Lao Cai Customs Department has provided many solutions.

“Although the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods reduced, the department always directs customs its subordinate units to take measures such as forecasting the situation, grasping information on the border management policy of Chines government; effectively implement customs control; closely inspect and supervise import and export goods, people, luggage, means of transport, entry and exit; focuses on inspecting, detecting and handling the trafficking of banned items such as firecrackers, explosives, counterfeit money, drugs and precursors, and items for consumption such as wine, beer, beverages, cakes, jam, candy, tobacco, fruit, clothes, shoes, household electrical appliances," said Deputy Director Duong Xuan Sinh.

Although the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods decreased, the customs and border guards of Lao Cai still maintain effective control in the area.

From January 1 to August 15, Lao Cai Customs Department handled 89 customs offences, including fining 81 administrative violations worth VND370.4 million, seizing six violations valued at VND146.5 million, hendling one drug-related crime and seizing one case of smuggling goods without origin.

According to the Steering Committee 389 of Lao Cai province, in the last months of the year, the local law enforcement forces continue to strengthen inspection and control for import, export and immigration; prevent the abuse of import and export for smuggling, trade fraud, tax evasion, illegal transportation of goods across border gates; and take measures for Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan