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Firm falsifies licenses to import shipments of medical equipment

16:14 | 15/04/2019

VCN - By adding items not on the license and changing the expiry date, an enterprise imported dozens of shipments of medical equipment. The Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department under the General Department of Customs has issued a decision to prosecute this enterprise.

tin nhap 20190412143127 It is expected to continue cutting some administrative procedures related to medical equipment
tin nhap 20190412143127 Results for a series of imported medical equipment classifications have been changed
tin nhap 20190412143127 Cut down many conditions of operating business on medical equipment
tin nhap 20190412143127
Illegal medical equipment was seized by HCMC Customs Department. Photo: T.H.

Tricks exposed

C.V.S One Member Limited Liability Company was established in 2009 in Dong Nai, specializing in wholesale medical equipment. During the period of 2009-2016, this company carried out a total of 67 import declarations of medical equipment at the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and Dong Nai Customs Department. To register the 67 declarations, MTV C.V.S Co., Ltd has been granted 17 import licenses by the Ministry of Health. Goods are provided for major hospitals nationwide.

Through the post-clearance inspection for the documents on importing medical equipment of CVS Company, the Dong Nai Customs Department detected suspicious signs, so the dossier had been transferred to Team 3 under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Customs) for expanded investigation. Through the study of collected customs dossiers, Team 3 discovered, among 24 sets of customs dossiers of 24 customs declarations, there were doubts about import licenses. In particular, there are differences in import licenses in 18 sets of customs dossiers of 18 declarations; four sets of customs dossiers without original import permits; and two sets of customs dossiers without import permits as prescribed.

According to the case file, in the dossiers which belong to the 18 customs declarations mentioned above, many permits have been heavily modified in terms of model and number of items in the permit appendix. The license term on many permits had also been changed.

For example, the original License No. 1111/BYT-TB-CT dated March 2, 2011, Section 1 “angioplasty balloon, valve VACS II, III” is granted 25 models of type VACS II and 30 models of type VACS III that “have been revised to increase the model of “angioplasty balloon, valve VACS II and III” of 56 models of type VACS II and 25 models of type VACS III; License No. 1532/BYT-TB-CT dated March 22, 2012, expired on March 22, 2013 to license 2 items of medical equipment, changed to “Licensing for 6 items Medical equipment”.

Notably, some licenses have been modified many times to suit each quantity of imported goods. For example, the License No. 3584/BYT-TB-CT dated June 18, 2013, expired June 18, 2014, licensed for three medical equipment items, has been modified many times by the enterprise, from three items to 11 items for two customs declarations on August 1 and 5, 2013; six items for import declaration on October 30, 2013 and seven items for import customs declaration on December 23, 2013.

There are licenses with the same number and same license year, but the date of licensing and licensed medical equipment items are different. License No. 1166/BYT-TB-CT dated December 7, 2012, expired on December 7, 2013, licensed three types of medical equipment: “Catheter ablation catheter”; “Electrophysiological diagnosis catheters of all kinds”; “types of conversion cables”. In another set of documents the Customs authorities discovered, there were the same number of licenses, but the re-issuance date is March 7, 2012, expired March 7, 2013, licensed for two types of medical equipment: “angioplasty balloon, valve” and “Temporary electrode cable”.

Employee blamed

Working with Customs authorities, Director of CVS Company admitted to falsifying import licenses of the 24 customs declarations mentioned above by adding items not in the original license issued by the Ministry of Health; or modifying the original date, month, and year of the original expired license. After that, photocopies and stamps are made then submitted to the customs office for import procedures. With this method, from 2011-2013, the C.V.S. company opened 18 customs declarations for import of goods such as: arterial opening devices, central venous catheters, liver biopsies, lungs, bones, diagnostic catheters, heart valves and biological fittings, stent, balloons and valves worth 1,495 billion VND.

In the explanation letter on the reason for changing the date and changing the contents of the licenses, the director of this enterprise complained that they were providing medical equipment to cure patients with congenital heart disease as well as other diseases quickly, while the Ministry of Health's licensing procedure takes a long time (3 months or more). Thus, it is necessary to modify the license to keep up with the delivery schedule for hospitals and serve patients and companies, rather than smuggling.

However, director of C.V.S. Company argued that the amendments to the above import licenses was due to employees of a customs clearance service hired by the enterprise. Currently, C.V.S. Company are unable to contact the service company, and do not know their address or phone number.

According to the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, although the director of C.V.S didn’t acknowledge directly editing import licenses and thought it was due to customs clearance, he still signed (affixed with certification seal) on the modified licenses and submitted them to the customs office. So there is a basis to identify the director and C.V.S. as responsible for misconduct in the revision of licenses in 18 sets of customs records of the above 18 declarations.

For four sets of customs dossiers, there is no original import permit. According to the Ministry of Health's response, the Ministry of Health did not grant these four import licenses to C.V.S. as in four customs dossier sets. This proves that the above four import licenses are not legal. The company used an invalid license to import goods.

The total value of goods imported is about 1.7 billion VND according to 22 customs declarations (18 sheets using modified licenses compared to the originals and four sheets using self-created licenses because there is no original).

tin nhap 20190412143127 Cut down many conditions of operating business on medical equipment

VCN – According to Mr Nguyen Minh Tuan, Director of Medical Equipment and Constructions Department, Ministry of ...

CVS Limited Company have demonstrated evidence of smuggling as stipulated in Article No. 155 of the Criminal Code in 1999. The Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has issued a decision to prosecute a criminal case on “Smuggling” of CVS Company, and transferred the file to the Police Department for investigation according to its authority.

By Le Thu/ Kieu Oanh