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Beware of fake C/O

18:03 | 27/05/2020

VCN- Not only losing opportunities to enjoy preferential tax rates, enterprises will also be sanctioned hundreds of millions of VND for using fake C/O when importing goods. This problem means businesses need to be alert when signing contracts.

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Import and export goods at Cat Lai port. Photo: Thu Hoa

Fined nearly VND400 million

Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch - HCMC Customs Department has just issued a decision to sanction V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd.,based in Can Tho City,for using fake documents with fraudulent tax amount of over VND311 million.

The case was discovered by the HCMC Customs Department in March 2020 after the verification process and receiving a written reply from the Indonesian competent authority.

Accordingly, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department detected the Certificate of Origin (C/O) No. 0023181/JKT/2018 issued on December 28, 2018 for V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd. to enjoy special preferential tax rates for shipments registered at Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch on January 29, 2019 was fake.

According to our information, V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd.importedfive containers of vegetable oil extracted from palm oil used in the animal feed production through Cat Lai port. The company presented their preferential C/O, so they enjoyed a 0% tax rate instead of 30%. This shipment was worth over VND1 billion, the total amount of tax deficit by using the fake C/O was over VND311 million.

Not only fined by HCMC Customs Department for using the fake C/O, before that, V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd. had been fined VND70 million by Can Tho Customs Department for using fake documents in importing goods. Accordingly, this company had imported palm oil shipments through the Customs Branch of Can Tho port, but the Customs discovered that the C/O in the file was fake.

Thus, with only two imported consignments (belonging to six customs declarations) using the fake C/Os, V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd. has been fined nearly VND400 million by the Customs.

The company was deceived

According to the explanation, the company signed a purchase contract with a business in Hong Kong, the origin of the shipment is PT. SaWitama Makmur Company in Indonesia, provided that the goods had C/O form D with CIF price at Can Tho port. In this contract, the company had a clear agreement on the C/O form D provided by the seller.

Implementing this contract, in December 2018, V.T.D. Trading Co., Ltd. openedfive customs declarations at the Customs Branch of Can Tho port. In the process of carrying out customs procedures, the company declared truthfully and fully all types of documents including the C/O form D according to their imported goods shipments. At that time, the seller provided the original written C/Othat wasdirectly brought by the seller to the Customs Branch of Can Tho port.

However, the Customs authority suspected the validity of C/O form D because the signature was not the same as the announced one. Therefore,they requested the company to declare 30% temporary import tax recovery and asked the company to temporarily pay tax to wait for C/O verification.To clear the shipments, the company temporarily paid taxes and withheld over VND1.9 billion from the seller.

Particularly for the shipments to Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh City including five containers of vegetable oil extracted from palm oil used in the production of animal feed which the enterprise opened the customs declaration at the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch. After verifying, all the six C/O form D provided by the Indonesian company to V.T.D Company had been issued to another company by the Indonesian authority, not to PT.SaWitamaMakmur. Simultaneously, the Indonesian competent authority also sent a letter confirming the PT.SaWitamaMakmurCompany had been scammed by some individuals and issued fake C/Os to customers. The agency also verified thatthe goods of V.T.D Company were from Indonesia and were on the list of duty-free goods.

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The above case showed that not only losing the opportunity to enjoy preferential tax rates, enterprises will also be sanctioned hundreds of millions of VND for using fake C/O.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh