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Hai Phong Customs: Focus on anti-smuggling in the “e-Environment”

09:51 | 11/08/2016

VCN- The application of IT programs and modern equipment in the professional activities, which facilitates import and export has put a heavy pressure on Hai Phong Customs officers in the prevention and fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting.

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A civil servant who has many years of customs control in the Department of Hai Phong Customs said that, previously, in order to undertake investigations, Customs officers used to go scouting to seek and update information from local people and other sources. However, with the flow of exported and imported goods through the borders increasing dramatically, the pressure on quick clearance of goods and various types of violations has created difficulties for Customs officers to seek and update information.

Currently, the declaration and clearance of goods is implemented through an electronic system, so data of businesses, commodities and routes will be stored on the system. Therefore, Customs officers need to possess the ability to master the use of business software, especially information exploitation about E-manifest and risk management, etc.

Visisting to the headquarters of Haiphong Customs Control Team, reporters of Customs Newspaper have found that there have been many adjustments recently. In addition to a division specifically responsible for the area, there is another division including civil servants in charge of synthesis and analysis of information from the Customs data system to find out goods and enterprises at a high risk level.

The leader of Haiphong Customs Control Team said with particular shipments related to wild animals and plants such as elephant ivory, pangolin and precious woods with a high value, perpetrators often used the method of "washing line" to cover their tracks and avoid detection by Customs forces.

In particular, many ivory shipments originating from Africa, before landing at Hai Phong port, have been in transit through many ports all over the world; or for example the seizure of 4 luxury cars from the United States in 2012. They were stolen cars in the US and shipped to Hong Kong (China). Next, these 4 new cars were transported to Haiphong. In such cases like this, without a thorough analysis and investigation, Customs officers may not detect the violation process of perpetrators because were they declared to customs officers with a “clean” country of origin (not related to illicit or smuggled goods).

A notable point in the activities of prevention, anti-smuggling, anti commercial fraud and counterfeiting in the Department of Hai Phong Customs recently has been the strict management of compliance of businesses to prevent violated shipments which are exported and imported through Haiphong port in a timely fashion.

From early 2016 to date, the Department of Hai Phong Customs has put 21 consignments through the Customs supervision area with and finished the inspection of 18 consignments. Of these 18, 15 were detected with violations, 2 consignments were properly declared and 1 consignments was waiting for the results of analysis and classification of goods. For the 15 violated consignments, there were 12 consignments which implemented procedures at various local customs departments and 3 consignments implemented procedures at the Department of Hai Phong Customs.

As a result of this initiative, the Department of Hai Phong Customs has directed the functional units to effectively implement the plans for assisting the General Department of Vietnam Customs, especially relating to key items such as cosmetics, tobacco, fertilizers, plant protection products.

Notably, the Department of Hai Phong Customs focused on directing its subordinate units to collect and process information effectively, closely monitoring risky objects in the area and enhancing organizational control activities to prevent and handle violations in a timely fashion. Also, the Department of Hai Phong Customs asked the units to do a good job of coordination, information exchange, professional assistance with the Investigation and Anti-Smuggling Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) and other Customs control forces of the local customs departments.

Thanks to the synchronized operations, the activities of the prevention and anti-smuggling under these new arrangements under the guidelines of the General Department of Vietnam Customs in Hai Phong have achieved remarkable results. In the first 6 months of 2016, the total number of violations dropped by 726 cases compared to the same period in 2015 (approximately 16%).

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HCM City plans to step up enforcement against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods to better cope ...

In the near future, the Department of Hai Phong Customs will focus on prevention of smuggling, commercial fraud, anti-tax losses through the strict management of value codes and goods at the retail warehouses (CFS), and goods control in duty free shops, etc.

By Thai Binh/ Hoang Anh