VCN- The General Department of Customs recently released information related to the export of masks, which shows initiative and timeliness in directing procedures for this item.
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Previously, some press agencies shared: “The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that they recently received documents from the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association, the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam and some businesses reflectingdifficulties in the export of cloth masks. The reason is that it is difficult for customs officers at the border gates to distinguish between medical masks and cloth masks, especially antibacterial cloth masks, so they have to take samples for inspection in many agencies.”
Sticking to the direction in Resolution 20 / NQ-CP
Concerning this issue, in the press release on the afternoon of March 31, the General Department of Customs said that on February 28, 2020, the Government issued Resolution No. 20 / NQ-CP on export license regime on medical masks in the stage amidCOVID-19 prevention and control period.
In which, Clause 1 of Resolution 20 / NQ-CP stipulates: “1. The Ministry of Health applies the export licensing regime on medical masks amid Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control period and only allows exports of medical masks for international aid and assistance purposes granted by the Vietnamese Government (maximum of 25% of the output for exports and 75% for domestic use).This does not apply to the exports of export processing businesses that have been granted the certificate of investment registration and businesses processing medical masks under processing contracts with foreign traders concluded before March 1, 2020.
Point 3of Resolution 20/NQ-CP provides “the General Department of Customs (the Ministry of Finance) shall cooperate in supervising the export of medical masks.
In strict compliance with the direction of the Government, to ensure inspection and control of export and import goods amid the pandemic, on March 9, the General Department of Customs issued Dispatch No. 1431 / GDVC-GSQL directing provincial and municipal Customs Departments to deploy some solutions on inspection and control of export and import goods.
Including the contents of the application of the export licensing regime on medical masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control period as follows:
The procedure for exporting medical masks is only allowed as prescribed in Point 1 of Resolution No. 20 / NQ-CP in the following cases: businesses licensed for export of masks by the Ministry of Health for humanitarian aid or international assistance purposes granted by the Vietnamese Government.
Export processing businesses with business investment certificates granted by competent agencies and businesses processing medical masks under processing contracts with foreign traders concluded before March 1, 2020. Processing contracts must be reported to the Customs agency described inpoint a, clause 2 of Article 56 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC (amended and supplemented inCircular 39/2018/TT-BTC).
In addition, to ensure supervision and prevent fraud, inDispatch No. 1431, the General Department of Customs directs provincial and municipal Customs Departments to conduct physical inspections ofexport goodsdeclared as non-medical masks (HS code 63079090); reviewmedical mask standard TCVN8389-2010 published by the Ministry of Science and Technology to determine goods.
Through physical inspection, if there are insufficient grounds to identify as non-medical masks, the goods must be verified bythe Institute of Medical Equipment and Facilities (the Ministry of Health) or inspection agencies thatare eligibleto performmedical mask inspectionto determine the category of export goods.
On March 11, the Ministry of Health issued Decision No. 868 / QD-BYT regulating licensing of export permits for medical masks amid the Covid-19pandemic. The General Department of Customs directed Customs Departments.
On March 26, the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) issued Document 0309 / XNK-CN to the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam; Vietnam Textile and Garment Association; NhanHoa Garment Company Limited. Accordingly, under clause 1 of Resolution No. 20/NQ-CP, “Non-medical masks are subject to current regulations and do not need export licenses”.
Onthis point, the General Department of Customs agreed with the Import and Export Department (the Ministry of Industry and Trade) and directed provincial and municipal customs departments as inthe previous Dispatch No. 1431 / TCHQ-GSQL.
At the same time, Dispatch No. 0309 / XNK-CN stated: Article 2 of the Decision 868 / QD-BYT dated March 11, 2020 of the Ministry of Health stipulates "Medical masks must meet minimum standards of TCVN 8389-1: 2010, TCVN 8389-2: 2020, GDC 8389-3: 2010 and havea circulation number issued by the competent health authority as prescribed”.
On March 27, the Ministry of Health issued Dispatch No. 1657 / BYT-TB-CT to the Ministry of Finance.
In this document, the Ministry of Health said:“Recently, there has been a phenomenon of counterfeiting certificate of free sale (CFS) issued by the Ministry of Health for medical masks and the Ministry of Health has issued Dispatch No. 1264 / BYT-TB-CT dated March 13, 2020 to the Ministry of Public Security asking for coordination to verify information on some companies that have committed violations in the field of medical equipment, as well asDispatch No. 1417 / BYT-TB-CT dated March 19, 2020 to the People's Committees of provinces and cities proposing to review, intensify inspection and promptly and strictly handle violations in accordance with regulations applicable to medical mask manufacturers in their local areas.
Problems handled timely
To comply with the spirit of the Government's Resolution 20 of facilitating the export of cloth masks and prevent fraud as recommended by the Ministry of Health, the General Department of Customs issued Dispatch 2012/TCHQ-GSQL instructing provincial and municipal Customs Departments to inspect export masks.
The General Department of Customs assigns the Risk Management Department, the provincial and municipal Customs Departments to assess risks and only select suspectshipments for physical inspection, especially shipments of exporters that are not manufacturers.
During physical inspection, if there are not enough signs according to standards of medical masks, customs clearance shall be carried out.
If there are signs under the standards but goods are declared as masks (other than a medical mask), sampling for verification at the Institute of Medical Equipment and Facilities- or meet qualified inspection agencies is required.
In addition, the situation of Covid-19 pandemic is complexand tends to spread quickly, the domestic and international demand for medical masks is increasing, the provincial and municipal Customs Departments has strengthened the prevention of cross-border mask smuggling and handledmany cases.
Typically: On March 11, 2020, MocBai Border Gate Customs Branch (TayNinh Customs Department) inspected, supervised and discovered two peoplewith acts of illegal cross-border transportation of 187,950 Vietnamese medical masks, 100% new andestimated value at VND 161,455 million.
On March 8, 2020, Tinh Bien Border Gate Customs Branch (An Giang Customs Department) coordinated with Tinh Bien International Border Guard Station to arrest one person for illegal cross-border transportation of 164,600 medical masks.
By N. Linh/ Huyen Trang