December 17, 2018 12:42

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Customs responds to the case where luggage was ransacked and stolen at the airport

18:56 | 16/05/2017

VCN- At international airports, not only do Customs authorities perform the functions and duties, but many other competent agencies also carry out surveillance of the luggage of people on entry.

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Customs officers at Da Nang airport collaborate with other competent authorities to check luggage of passengers. Photo: N. Linh.

Customs officers do not arbitrarily open luggage

Earlier, on the TuoiTre News (11th May 2017) posted "Suitcases ... say!" (Kim Van) reflected: Passengers often complain about luggage which was ransacked and stolen at the airport. Why do people lose the trust on Vietnam Customs? How to prevent this?

Responding to the above information, on 12th May 2017, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has issued documents to Tuoi Tre Newspaper; The Press Department, the Radio and Television and Electronic Information Agency (the Ministry of Information and Communications), the Press and Publishing Department (the Central Propaganda Department) to affirm: The article which was published by Tuoi Tre Newspaper did not mention Customs but only referred to "authorities" at the airport in monitoring luggage of people on entry. Therefore, Tuoi Tre Newspaper posted "people lose the trust on Vietnam Customs at the airport" is inaccurate, without legal basis.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, at international airports, not only do Customs authorities perform the functions and duties, but many other competent agencies also carry out surveillance of the luggage of people on entry.

Specifically, Vietnam Airport Ground Services (VIAGS)One-member Co., Ltd. carries out luggage handling (supervision, loading and unloading) from the aircraft to the luggage area to put on the conveyor for people on entry.

The Aviation Security Force is a unit of the Port Corporation that oversees the luggage of people on entry from the time luggage is handled by VIAGS until passengers receive luggage at the airport through the camera system at the airport.

Customs officers shall conduct Customs inspections and supervision of luggage of people on entry or exit under the provisions of Article 54 of the Customs Law and Point a, Clause 1, Article 6 of Government Decree No. 08/2015 / ND- CP of 21st May 2015, detailing measures to implement the Customs Law on Customs procedures, inspections, supervision and control.

At present, all international airports have been equipped with a camera system to monitor all behaviours and activities of employees as well as passengers at the airport. As a result, the incision or loss of luggage of passengers on entry may be retransmitted on the Aviation and Customs Recording System as an evidence to the investigating authority.

When do Customs officers check passengers’luggage?

Regarding the inspections of luggage of passengers on entry or exit, the General Department of Vietnam Customs said that in accordance with Articles 58 and 59 of the Government's Decree No. 08/2015 / ND-CP, the inspections of luggage of passengers on entry, exit or in transit belonged to the functions of Vietnam Customs.

In the case where luggage was subject to Customs inspections, passengers on entry must open their own luggage to show the goods for Customs officers for inspections. The checking of luggage of people on exit or entry shall take place in the presence of representatives of State agencies at border-gate areas, representatives of transport enterprises, enterprises at port warehouses. The inspections must be documented and signed by the related parties.

In the case where luggage is lost, it must be inspected in accordance with the Law and implemented by the Customs officers as stipulated in Point c, Clause 2 of Article 34 of the Customs Law: "The luggage shall be opened for direct inspections in the presence of representatives of State agencies at border-gate areas, representatives of transport enterprises, enterprises dealing in ports and warehouses. The inspections must be made in writing with the signatures of the related parties".

The whole process of checking the luggage of passengers on entry or exit must be implemented in the surveillance division of the Customs Branch where the surveillance cameras are located under the regulations of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

In order to ensure publicity and transparency in the management, the Customs authorities have also established a hotline at the airport to reflect any harassment of Customs officers in carrying out procedures for passengers (if any).

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From the above-mentioned regulations, the General Department of Vietnam Customs affirms that Customs officers do not arbitrarily inspect luggage of people on entry and that Customs officers can not steal anything in the luggage of people on entry.

By N.Linh/ Hoang Anh