December 18, 2017 23:24

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Potential risks from the import of Bitcoin diggers

15:21 | 07/12/2017

The import of automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin has signs of increasing.  Customs is worried about organizations or individuals will use them as illegal payment methods in Vietnam 

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Regarding to the management of imported automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin (HS: 8471.50.90), the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) has sent a written request to the ministries and sectors: such as the State Bank of Vietnam, Ministry of Information and Communication, and Ministry of Industry and Trade for comments.

Based on their comments, the GDVC has issued guiding documents to local Customs Departments for their control.

Accordingly, the automatic data processing machines are not related to the use of virtual currency as a means of payment and not subject to lists of goods banned from importation as stipulated in the Government’s Decree 187/2013/ND-CP.

At the same time, in order to abide by the provisions in the Decree 101/2012/ND-CP by the Government on non-cash payment, the GDVC has sent an official letter to request the Directorate of Public Security to collaborate to monitor and manage the use of automatic data processing machines Bitcoin, and Litecoin.

According to the local Customs Departments, the imports import of the above commodity has signs of increasing. As of 31 October 2017, the Express Customs Branch (HCMC Customs Department) had received processed 98 import Customs declarations with an amount of 1,478 sets. The importers were companies, individuals and organizations which have no tax codes.

Actually, the use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies requires means such as automatic data processing machines to exploit virtual currency on the network.

However, when implementing the import procedures, the organizations and individuals only declared that these machines were automatic data processing machines to decode and dig virtual currency on the network, so that the Customs could not identify whether these machines could be used for another payment purpose or not?.

To ensure Customs management as well as promptly prevent the use of automatic data processing machines as an illegal means of payment in Vietnam, the GDVC requested the State Bank of Vietnam for comments on the import of automatic data processing machines to decode and exploit virtual currency on the network and tsoon have guidelines on specialized management for the import of this commodity as quickly as possible.

Recently, the State Bank of Vietnam has issued a press release to confirm that Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies were not legal means of a payment instrument in Vietnam. The acts of issuance, supply and use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are prohibited and will be subject to criminal prosecution under the Penal Code (effective from 1 January 2018).

Regarding the management of automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin, in a document sent to the GDVC, the State Bank of Vietnam has affirmed that the virtual currency in general and Bitcoin and Litecoin in particular, is not a currency and is not a legal means of payment under the general provisions of Vietnamese law. The issuance, supply and use of virtual currency in general and Bitcoin, and Litecoin in particular (illegal means of payment) as currency or means of payment are prohibited.

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According to the State Bank of Vietnam, the automatic data processing machines of Bitcoin and Litecoin are not involved in the use of virtual currency as a means of payment, so they do not belong to the management functions and tasks of the Banks .

N. Linh/ Huyen Trang