July 19, 2018 08:54

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The Ministry of Finance reports to the Prime Minister on measures to manage imported scraps

10:24 | 04/07/2018

VCN- Scraps are a sensitive commodity that has many environmental risks and within which it is easy to hide prohibited goods, so the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs) has recently reported to the Prime Minister solutions to timely prevent the risk of environmental pollution and remove commodity congestion at seaports.

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Cat Lai Port is in danger of being overloaded because of scraps. Photo: T.Hoa.

The risk of garbage dumping

The assessment of the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs) shows that the situation of scrap imports in the past is very risky to environment and easy to hide prohibited goods.

This risk came from the fact that in 2018, China implemented a policy of banning the import of wastes, plastic wastes and scraps. Accordingly, 24 types of scraps and solid wastes were banned from import into China. Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations are in danger of becoming a waste processing site for China.

It is estimated that each year China imports about 7.3 million tonnes of scraps from the United States, Europe and Japan.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, in recent years, the demand for scrap imports as raw materials for plastics, paper and steel production has tended to increase strongly. This also comes with the risk of fraudsters taking advantage of loopholes.

In fact, from 2017 to date, the Customs has detected hundreds of violations related to scrap imports with various methods and tricks. Main acts are related to fake documents, fake seals. In addition, scrap importers did not meet the criteria of imports, hid prohibited imports, or valuable goods with a high tax rate in the shipments of scraps.

In this situation, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs) has proposed to the Prime Minister a number of measures to timely prevent the risk of environmental pollution as well as remove the situation of congestion in seaports.

In particular, the agency proposed the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to review the dossiers of application for certificates of eligibility for environmental protection for scrap imports as raw materials for production. At the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment needs to amend some documents related to the issue of certificates of eligibility for environmental protection for scrap imports.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance proposed to assign the Ministry of Transport and Communications to coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in guiding port businesses to check the certificate of environmental protection eligibility. The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall study and announce a detailed list of used goods banned from import in the direction of minimizing the import of used goods.

Customs has implemented many tightening measures

On the side of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, following the instructions of the Government, the unit is also intensifying inspections and supervision at the border gates and warned the provincial Customs departments to pay attention to used plastic to prevent the import of "garbage" into Vietnam.

In June 2018, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued two documents directing the local Customs units to tighten management of scrap imports.

Accordingly, the General Department of Vietnam Customs requested the Customs departments of provinces and cities to direct the Customs Branches to strengthen the inspections of imported goods such as iron, steel, plastics and used papers having a commodity code different from the commodity code which is the scrap on the list of discarded materials, issued together with the Prime Minister's Decision No. 73/2014 / QD-TTg.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs also requested the local Customs units to intensify the inspections and examination in the observance of the Law on environmental protection under the functions, tasks and competence of the Customs for scrap imports such as iron, steel, plastics, used papers having commodity codes different from the commodity codes on the list of wastes in conjunction with Decision 73/2014 / QD-TTg. At the same time, strictly handle cases of fraudulent behavior, import of scraps which do not meet the conditions and requirements of environmental protection as prescribed.

For goods declared as import scraps, when carrying out the Customs procedures, the customs Branches where the Customs declarations are registered must take samples and send them to the Customs Inspection Department for analysis and evaluation of conformity and environmental technical standards for imported scraps. During the sampling process, actual photos of the imported goods must be taken for inspections and examination.

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For goods declared as used goods, irrespective of their use purposes and the goods' names and codes that are not included in the Appendix of the list of scraps permitted to be imported from foreign countries under the Prime Minister's Decision No. 73/2014 / QD-TTg, the Customs Branch where the Customs declaration is registered must take a sample and send it to the Customs Inspection Department to determine whether the imported goods are wastes or not.

By Ngoc Linh/ Hoang Anh