VCN - The General Department of Customs continues to drastically implement Prime Minister’s Directive 27 / CT-TTg dated September 17th, 2018 on urgent measures to strengthen the management of importation and use of imported scraps as raw materials for production. At the same time, reviewing newly issued policies related to the management of imported scraps to propose appropriate solutions.
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|Plastic wastes which were not eligible for importation were detected and arrested by Hai Phong Customs in Hai Phong in August, 2018 Photo: N.Linh.|
At the online conference to summarize the performance of the 3rd quarter and deploy tasks for the 4th quarter of 2018, of the General Department of Customs on October 8th, 2018, Acting Director of Customs Supervision and Control Department Au Anh Tuan, said that in the eight months of 2018, the volume of imported scraps was equal to the total imports of both 2015 and 2016.
Scrap import activity tends to increase rapidly and develops complicatedly. Some enterprises abuse loopholes in mechanisms and policies to import large volumes of scraps which do not meet the technical regulations on environmental protection to Vietnam; some enterprises and business households in handicraft villages and industrial clusters use backward technology, which mainly carry out the classification, preliminarily processing and recycling to produce semi-finished materials and do not have standard waste treatment systems (waste water, waste gas), which is the cause of environmental pollution.
In addition, some enterprises have been granted certificates of eligibility for environmental protection to import scraps for production materials but sold them to other small enterprises (enterprises which have not been granted certificates of eligibility for environmental protection to import scraps for production materials) to bring into handicraft villages and industrial clusters, causing the risk of environmental pollution and affecting the living environment and annoying people.
Objectively, from the end of 2017, the Government of China stopped importation of 24 types of scraps for recycling including 8 types of household plastic scrap, 11 types of garment scrap, 4 types of ore scrap and 1 type of paper scrap (in which some types of plastic and paper scraps are identical with the list of scraps permitted for import under the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 73/2014 / QD-TTg ). This is one of the main reasons for the increase in containers at seaports, especially plastic and paper scraps.
Facing this situation, the General Department of Customs has taken the initiative in intensifying inspection and control; strict management of scraps and items characterized by imported scraps; developed and deployed a risk control plan for scrap imports nationwide; developed and carried out plans for investigation, verification and handling of violations in scrap imports; and issued Document No. 4202 / TCHQ-PC dated July 7th, 2018, guiding the management of scrap imports to Vietnam.
According to Mr. Au Anh Tuan, the drastic solutions of the General Department of Customs in the management of scrap imports in the recent time have been appreciated by society. They clearly defined the responsibilities of the management agency and affirmed the role of the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs) in control and prevention of the importation of products as wastes and scraps which fail to meet the environmental conditions. The contents in Official Letter No. 4202 / TCHQ-PC and proposals of the Ministry of Finance have been recognized and included in Directive 27 / CT-TTg by the Prime Minister.
Enhancing to control and detect acts of violations
Through the strengthening of inspection and supervision at seaport borders, especially in the Customs processing, the Customs authorities have detected over 45 scrap samples, corresponding to over 300 containers, failing the national technical regulations on environmental protection for scrap imports as raw materials for production, containing impurities harmful to the environment.
The General Department of Customs has instructed the concerned units to evaluate the import and export situation of over 250 enterprises; to review, compare and check information on the basis of the reports of the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment and data on import licensing, etc. As a result, identifying 44 enterprises which had signs of fraudulence on repairing, forging the dossiers and imported a volume of scraps higher than the permitted norm. Currently, Customs is continuing to investigate and verify according to its functions and tasks.
During the inspections and supervisions, the Customs authorities at all levels have detected a series of violations and issued decisions on criminal prosecution for cases related to acts of faking, erasing or modifying documents of state agency for legalization of scrap import dossiers. That was the case of Duc Dat Import-Export Trading Service Co., Ltd. This company imported scraps but did not have a eligible production establishment or had a production establishment with production capacity lower than the amount of scraps allowed to be imported. The company mainly imported scraps to resell to other companies operating in scrap recycling villages, which did not comply with the law, and polluted the environment. Other cases were Hong Viet Trading Service and Construction Co, Ltd., imported scraps and then resold to another domestic company which was Yen Hung Co, Ltd., in Hai Phong; and Bao Phuoc Co, Ltd., imported scraps but did not have a production establishment and sold them domestically.
Another violation was the scrap imports in excess of the permitted norm under the notifications of imported scrap shipment such as Hong Viet Trading Service and Construction Co, Ltd., which imported steel scrap in excess of 984 tons compared to the total number stated in the permit and imported plastic scraps in excess of 64,249 tons compared to the total number in the permit granted by the Ben Tre Department of Natural Resources and Environment. One more violation was the scrap imports in excess of the designed production capacity. That was the case of Huong Quynh Cam Hung Co, Ltd., the company had a production capacity of about 3,600 tons but in fact it imported a volume of scraps in excess of 54,900 tons compared to the licensed capacity (more than 15 times higher than the designed capacity).
Particularly, through the inspections and supervisions, the customs authorities discovered the tricks of hiding the goods banned from import in the imported scrap shipments. Specifically, on July 24th, 2018, the customs authorities inspected an imported scrap shipment for which the name of the consignee in the bill of lading was Pomina 2 Steel JSC, and detected 119 kgs of cocaine hidden in the scrap containers. Recently, Da Nang Port Customs Branch has coordinated with the Central Anti-Smuggling and Control Team to detect 8 tons of ivory and pangolins scales in the shipment declared as scraps.
Urgently deploying Directive 27
Immediately after the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 27 / CT-TTg was issued, the General Department of Customs issued the Official Letter No. 5660 / TCHQ-GSQL dated September 28th, 2018, to request the municipal and provincial Customs Departments to study and seriously implement Directive No. 27 / CT-TTg. Concurrently, publicly posting at customs clearance sites and disseminating the contents of the Directive to shipping companies and agents, port operators and companies, particularly, scrap import companies.
Based on the Directive, the General Department of Customs also announced not to handle procedures for imported scraps through road or railway from October 1st, 2018. For the shipments that have already arrived at ports, if they meet conditions on environmental protection, they shall be cleared quickly to avoid backlogs at the ports.
For a short time, the General Department of Customs will continue to deploy a range of solutions at local Customs units to prevent illegible scrap shipments from unloading and will guide shipping companies and agents to declare e-manifest in accordance with Directive 27; at the same time, checking dossiers of entry ships to identify shipments, which do not meet the conditions on imported scraps for production materials and which are not in the list of goods permitted to be imported, and without written confirmation on environmental protection and without standards, etc. Thereby, resolutely preventing the unloading the goods and notifying port operators not to allow discharge of goods.
|Discovered 40 samples of non-conformity imported scrap
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The General Department of Customs also instructed the border gate Customs Branches which have backlogged scraps, to base on the information on the e-manifest to request the importers to urgently to carry out customs procedures and to develop solutions to deal with backlogged shipments according to the law
|Recently, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment issued Circular No. 08/2018 / TT-BTNMT and Circular 09/2018 / TT-BTNMT (effective October 29th, 2018) on national technical regulations for imported scraps of iron, steel, plastic, paper, glass, nonferrous metals (copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, tin, wolfram, molybdenum, magnesium, titanium, zircon, antimony, manganese, chromium) and granular slag . However, through research and implementation, Mr. Au Tuan Anh said that the contents of the two circulars have some problems, the General Department of Customs is synthesizing to report to the Ministry of Finance to propose the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for handling.|
By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang