November 19, 2018 12:16

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Hidden smuggled cargo containers exist at the port

09:01 | 26/05/2018

VCN - In order to avoid illegal import of prohibited, smuggled goods in the shipments that exist at the port borders, Ho Chi Minh Customs Department has instructed the sub-departments to review and check suspected containers with scanners.

hidden smuggled cargo containers exist at the port
Hundreds of old bicycles have been found in cargo containers at Cat Lai port, which were opened in April. Photo: T.H.

Check out the existing goods then find the prohibited goods

With the increasing situation of existing goods at seaports and airports, the leaders of Ho Chi Minh Customs Department have instructed border customs units to intensify inspection, supervision, review and do the proper procedures in accordance with the regulations for stuck goods with prompt measures to supervise and detect, avoiding the hidden illegal/ banned import goods in existing cargo containers at the seaports.

In the depot of Cat Lai port, there are about 200 import-violated containers that have been there over 90 days. This number of cargo containers is material evidence of cases being investigated by the authorities of goods violating Customs Laws, which are temporarily suspended for handling.

In early April, 1818, Sai Gon Port Border Gate Customs Zone I searched one cargo container at the port and found that this container was full containing prohibited imported goods. This lot, which was imported to Cat Lai port on a manifest, showed the name of the recipient – L.V. Trading One Member Company Limited (Do Nhuan Street, Son Ky Ward, Tan Phu District, HCMC).

However, after arrival at the port several months ago, this enterprise has not conducted the goods receipt procedures. With suspicious signs, Sai Gon Port Border Gate Customs Zone I, coordinated with the border guard station and functional forces of Ho Chi Minh Customs Department and searched the container. Detection results showed that the container contained 95 sets of air conditioners; 279 inadequate bikes without saddles, pedals, rims, tires; and 3 motorcycles. All of these are itemized in the list of prohibited imports.

Earlier, inspecting stuck goods at Cat Lai port, Sai Gon Port Border Gate Customs Zone I also found that a container contained 271 refrigerator parts, 26 refrigerators, all of which were second-hand items, and on the list of prohibited imports. The value of the shipment is nearly 1.7 billion.

The shipment was sent to H.T.P. Export Import Services Trading Company Limited. After more than 3 months from the date of arrival at the port, the enterprise has not come to receive goods. Detecting suspected signs, the customs agencies sent invitations to the enterprise to coordinate inspection. However, the enterprise refused to receive the goods, with the reason that the sender had made mistake, the company had not signed the contract and the company also had committed that they had not done customs procedures for the shipment yet.

However, the information on the manifest shows that the address of the recipient matches the information of the H.T.P. Export Import Services Trading Company Limited and the name of the goods is as the results of the actual inspection. The infringing goods are goods banned from import that have great value. The case shows signs of "smuggling" as provided for in Article 188 of the Criminal Code. Sai Gon Port Border Gate Customs Zone I sent the whole dossier of violation by this enterprise for police investigation - Ho Chi Minh City Police to verify, and investigate in accordance with the law.

According to Ho Chi Minh Customs Department, all existing containers in the port which are suspected to contain illegal and prohibited goods have been delineated and locked to strictly monitor and control.

Avoid disposing of imported scrap

Apart from the usual backlog, the port of Cat Lai is currently experiencing thousands of imported scrap containers. In this situation, Ho Chi Minh Customs Department is implementing many solutions to closely control and manage, and has discovered some cases that have cheated to evade licensing, bringing discarded materials into Vietnam.

The Customs Control Units – Ho Chi Minh Customs Department is assigned to carry out specialized projects to control and prevent acts of corruption in order to bring inadequate imported scrap into Vietnam. This unit has discovered some cases that brought scrap to the port, but because the import license has not been obtained yet, the businesses have found many ways to transfer the goods into Vietnam. Typically, a company importing two discarded scrap containers not in accordance with the regulations, modified the e-manifest information from scrap into the used plastic film. Then, the company opened the customs declarations declaring that the goods are used plastic film and still worth using (in agriculture sector) to dodge the import license.

Commenting on the situation of mass import of scrap, Deputy head of customs inspection team – Mr. Pham Quang Nam stated that scrap has low value, many enterprises importing from foreign countries are paid for collecting scrap, thus, it is difficult to re-export the unqualified imported scrap, and the destruction of scrap significantly affects the environment. This is one of the major challenges for the customs authorities in particular, and the state management agencies in general in the management and prevention of imported "junk".

In order to limit the situation of bringing unqualified discarded waste to the port, Deputy head of the HCM Customs Department – Mr. Le Dinh Loi said that they will consider and recommend the responsibility for shipping companies. "The carrier must be responsible for the goods that they transport, avoiding the fact that the enterprise takes delivery of the goods to the port and leaves it without any consignees or takes no responsibility for the smuggled or unqualified goods, making Vietnam become the world's garbage storage place.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh