February 28, 2020 06:26

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Anti-fraud of origin: Businesses have many tactics of disobedience

10:34 | 08/01/2020

VCN - Recently, there has been an issue of taking advantage of Vietnamese origin to enjoy preferential treatment of countries that signed free trade agreements (FTAs) for export goods. While combating frauds of origin, Customs forces face many difficulties, especially disobedience from enterprises.

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A fake bicycle shipment was discovered by Binh Duong Customs in October 2019. Photo: Thu Diu

Many exported products are in "sights"

In the past, Customs forces mainly focused on checking and preventing fraud of origin for imported goods in customs clearance as well as post customs clearance. From mid-2018 until now, the trade war between the US and China has occurred, in which the US has imposed high taxes on many goods from China, the Customs agency has focused on researching methods and risks of origin fraud and taking Vietnam's origin to export goods to the US and European Union (EU). In particular, the Post-Clearance Inspection Department is the key unit assigned by leaders of the General Department of Customs to handle the fraud of origin of export goods.

Director of the Post-clearance Inspection Department (General Department of Customs) Nguyen Tien Loc said through the collection and analysis of information, the Customs office found several enterprises with sharply increased export turnover into the US market. According to preliminary statistics, there are 19 groups of products at risk of origin fraud. Since then, the unit made a list of businesses at risk of fraud and counterfeiting origin nationwide to conduct inspections.

Based on a combination of 19 groups of high-risk and sudden-rising commodities into the US and EU markets, the Post-Clearance Inspection Department inspected nine enterprises and directed nine local customs departments to check 24 enterprises

“During the inspection process, this department detected fraud to enjoy Vietnamese origin for goods exported to the US by four enterprises, three assembling enterprises of bicycles and electric bicycles and one assembling enterprise of wooden products (shelves and kitchen shelves). Through working, enterprises have acknowledged the violations of Vietnamese origin for exported goods. In particular, the case of Excel Bicycle Co., Ltd. has been sanctioned for administrative violations and confiscated material evidences," the director of the Post-Clearance Inspection Department said.

In addition, the Post-Clearance Inspection Department is continuing to expand and inspect several commodity groups, like solar batteries and LED lights.

The Post-Clearance Inspection Department has directed the national inspection force to continue inspecting to prevent fraud of Vietnamese origin with exported goods, focusing on areas with high risk signs and new businesses established since the end of 2018 that have been importing goods such as components, materials and spare parts from China and exporting goods to the US and EU.

Handling violations faces difficulties

The leaders of the Post-Clearance Inspection Department said the struggle against businesses with violations faced many difficulties.

“After the handling results for Excel Bicycle Co., Ltd., the remaining businesses showed signs of disobedience, giving many reasons such as the translator did not know what to translate, the director was on business abroad to deny to sign working records, violation records or signs of running away, dispersing assets," Deputy Director of Post-Clearance Inspection Department, Tran Manh Cuong said.

In particular, to get effectiveness in the inspection process, the Department of Post-clearance Inspection also conducted verification and investigation activities according to functions prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code and the Law on Organisation of Criminal Agencies. But in reality, the implementation was also not easy. “There are cases when the Customs agency must work and fight with businesses until 1am. But at that time, suddenly, the director of the enterprise beat the tables and chairs and suddenly left,” Director Loc shared about the difficulties.

In addition, there are some shortcomings in the regulations. Deputy director of Post-Clearance Inspection Department, Tran Manh Cuong said that Clause 2, Article 58 of the Law on Penalties for administrative violations No.15/2012/QH13 clearly specified in this case, it was still difficult to handle the violations of test results.

Decree 31/2018/ ND-CP stipulates in detail the Law on Foreign Trade Management, on the origin of goods, in Article 9 "The simple processing stage" is not stipulated fully; the self-certification of origin of goods as prescribed in Article 25, Decree 31/2018/ND-CP, has not been specifically guided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. There is inconsistency between the legal documents on the public publication on the mass media of sanctions against individuals and organisations committing administrative violations.

To contribute to the effective fight against frauds of Vietnam's origin to export goods, the Department of Post-Clearance Inspection proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade soon review and provide guidance on self-certification of origin as prescribed in at Article 25, Decree 31/2018/ND-CP; reviewing, amending and supplementing simple processing and processing stages prescribed in Article 9 of Decree 31/2018/ND-CP to suit reality. At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will soon review and amend to unify Article 34 and Article 72 of the Law on Penalties for administrative violations and Article 63 of Decree 185/2013/ND-CP and Clause 26 of Decree 124/2015/ND-CP amending article 63 of Decree 185/2013/ ND-CP on information rectification.

By ThaiBinh/Quynhlan