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Central - Central Highlands Customs: Strengthen coordination and exchange of information against smuggling

10:00 | 05/05/2019

VCN- Customs Departments of provinces and cities, including Da Nang, Quang Tri, ThuaThien Hue, Quang Nam and Gia Lai-Kon Tum are located in key areas in the Central region and Central Highlands. They form the gateway of the regional development triangle of the economic corridor East - West of Vietnam and Laos, so the import and export of goods, people and vehicles through the border gates isvery high. There has been an increase in the volume of import and export of goods, vehicles, and passengers coupled with the risks of smuggling, trade frauds and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

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The discovery and seizure of more than 9 tons of ivory at Tien Sa-Da Nang port on 27/3/2019. Photo: the Da Nang Customs Department.

Establish information-sharing mechanism

Recently, when assessing the implementation of coordination among the customs departments of the provinces and cities of Da Nang, Quang Tri, ThuaThien Hue, Quang Nam and Gia Lai-Kon Tum in 2018, the units all agreed that the situation of smuggling, trade frauds, illegal cross-border transportation of goods and illegal acts in the area under the management of customs departments are complex compared to the past, containing many risks and challenges, withtricksused in thesmuggling and illegal transportation of goods are increasingly sophisticated.

Facing the risk of smuggling and trade frauds, with positive and proactive determination in preventing smuggling, trade frauds, illegal transportation of goods across borders, provincial customs departments at the Central and Central Highlands have established a coordinated channel to exchange information and make important contributions to the investigation, verification, prevention, arrest and handling of violations.

Functional forces have discovered cases related to smuggling, drug transportation and transport of wild animal products under CITES Appendix such as ivory and pangolin scales from Africa to Vietnam; illegally trafficking and transporting rare and precious timber and there isstill a situation of enterprises taking advantage of the openness of electronic customs procedures to wrongly declare goods names, codes, tax rates and failing to declare import goods for fraud, not paying taxes; importing prohibited goods, scrap which do not meet regulations.

According to the Deputy Director of ThuaThien-Hue Customs Department, Mr. Ngo Binh Tu, although the area managed by the unit is not a hot spot for smuggling, transporting goods and illegally transporting narcotics across the border, the unit is always wary. According to Mr. Tu, the coordination between the two Central and Central Highlands agencies plays an important role in the prevention and fight against smuggling and trade fraud. Due to the characteristics of the area, the land border gates are next to the La Lay and Lao Bao border gates (Quang Tri), goods from Hue import and export through La Lay, Lao Bao and Da Nang ports, if there is a link, analyzing and assessing information of the neighbor unit from the stage of entry/exit, it will support the ThuaThien - Hue Customs in prevention.

Mr. Tu added thatasthere were many hotspotsof illegally trafficked narcotics, the department leader directed the customs at the border to strengthen, patrol and control, pay attention tothose suspected of drug; at the same time, keep updating information and situation in localities to take initiative in preventing and fighting, especially at the two border gates with Laos: Hong Van and A Dot.

Besides, ThuaThien Hue Customs Department also actively cooperates and exchanges information with other units. In 2018, the unit cooperated with Quang Tri Customs Department to verify the operation of 3 enterprises in ThuaThien-Hue province with import and export activities in Quang Tri province; verify 2 means of transport and 1 permanent residency in ThuaThien-Hue Province. In 2018, ThuaThien-Hue Customs Department cooperated with Da Nang Customs Department to carry out procedures and inspect and supervise nearly 500 import-export declarations; 1 vehicle with 666 visitors.

Actively prevent and fight

Along with ThuaThien - Hue Customs Department, at other customs units, information about import and exportis being exchanged. For example, Quang Tri Customs Department has issued a dispatch to assist in verifying the operation of enterprises to ThuaThien - Hue Customs Department; or coordinated to help verify information on the subject that control transport vehicle of entry and exit to Da Nang Customs Department.

The Cua Viet Customs Branch cooperates with theCustoms Department at Da Nang port border gate to review the import and export declaration which has not been confirmed on the E-Customs System. The Quang Nam Customs Department cooperates with the Customs Departments of ThuaThien Hue, Da Nang and Quang Tri in verifying information on preferential tax rates for importers and VAT for items “Marine engine” and “Group generator” sold by Tan Trung Th Trading Co., Ltd.

The Customs Branch of the Ky Ha Port Border Gate (Quang Nam) cooperates with sub-departments under Da Nang Customs Department in reviewing and handling of eligible declarations through the management area but has not been confirmed on the system. The Customs Department of Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc Industrial Zone (Quang Nam) actively coordinated and exchanged information with Da Nang Port Border Gate Customs Branch and Da Nang International Airport Border Gate Customs Department to get information on border gate transfer, household inspection, import of plastic scrap of Asia Pacific Technical Compound Co., Ltd.

According to the evaluation of the provincial and municipal customs departments, customs departments have exchanged monthly, quarterly and yearly reports on their management to help these units grasp information about the work. management in the area; developments of smuggling, trade frauds and fake goods happening on routes and localities; method of tricks of the subjects to have plans for prevention, struggling and management coordination to implement the assigned tasks of each local customs department.

In 2018 alone, the above provinces and cities have discovered nearly 1,000 violations; total fines for administrative violations weremore than 5.7 billion VND. There were 3 criminal prosecutions. The Danang Customs Department handled 212 cases; Quang Tri Customs Department handled 553 cases; Gia Lai-Kon Tum Customs Department handled 103 cases; Quang Nam Customs Department handled 73 cases, ThuaThien Hue Customs Department handled 56 cases.

Notably, the criminal casethat was inspected and detained by the Da Nang Customs Department in cooperation with the Da Nang City Border Guard and the Da Nang Police Department, discovered more than 8 tons of ivory and pangolin scales. City Police Investigation Department ofDa Nang has prosecuted Thien Truong Su Co., Ltd.

Or the case that La Lay Border Gate Customs Department chaired and coordinated with La Lay Border Gate Border Guard Station to examine 4 vehicles and detect more than 27m3 of wood, of which 23.65m3 of wood made of Padouk and 3,80m3 of Rose-wood hidden in bales of import scraps.

Regulations on Coordination among 5 Customs Departments of provinces and cities: Quang Tri, ThuaThien - Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Gia Lai-Kon Tum have been signed since 2013 with the Regulation No. 01/ QCPH/ HQĐ-HQQT-HQGLKT-HQQNa-HQTTH on coordination in the prevention and combat of smuggling, illegal transportation of goods across borders and acts of violating the Customs law. By 2018, this regulation was replaced by theRegulation on Coordination No. 02/ QCPH/ HQĐNg-HQQT-HQGLKT-HQQNa-HQTTH with many solutions to implement the coordination among the 5 Central and Central Highlands Customs Departments

By Ngoc Linh/ Kieu Oanh