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Illegal scrap imports will be prosecuted

10:01 | 12/07/2018

 VCN- It is expected that in July, the Customs authority will consider to prosecute some enterprises that illegally imported scrap.

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illegal scrap imports will be prosecuted

Imported scraps that do not meet standards are seized by Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department at Cat Lai Port. Photo: T.H

The information was stated by the Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can at the online conference summarizing the working performance in the first half of 2018, and deployment of the tasks in the second half of 2018 of the Customs sector on 6th June, when answering the proposal of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department on the handling of backlogged scraps.

3,231 backlogged scrap containers

At the conference the Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, Dinh Ngoc Thang said that currently, there were 3,231 containers of plastic and paper scraps that were backlogged at seaports in Ho Chi Minh City, concentrating in Cat Lai Port. Of which, 2,183 containers were backlogged over 90 days.

The cause for this large amount of backlogged scrap in Ho Chi Minh City was that China had banned the imports of many scrap types, including plastic and paper scrap since 1st January 2018. Thus, this amount was transported into some south-east Asian countries, including Vietnam.

On the other hand, the import license for scrap used as production materials was issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. But in some special cases, the Department authorized for division to grant the license and there were many goods types in the license. Thereby, the Customs force faced difficulties in carrying out procedures and monitoring these licenses.

“Besides, some enterprises imported scraps without an import license or with an expired one. However, in some ways these enterprises still contacted with shipping lines to import scraps. In particular, some enterprises without an import license when importing scraps into Vietnam, adjusted scraps to the other enterprises having the import license,” Mr. Thang emphasized.

According to the Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the Department was facing difficulties in handling backlogged scraps such as the transportation was implemented by importers, exporters, shipping lines, and agent; granted an import license issued by ministries and sectors. Currently, the Customs has no competency to handle importers and exporters bringing goods into Vietnam and did not carry out Customs procedures.

Besides, current legal documents did not provide regulations on processes or ban from transporting and receiving scrap shipments into ports because these goods were not subject to banned goods.

According to Mr. Thang, currently port operators and the Customs authority were implementing temporary solutions such as the New Port Corporation banned the reception of scrap shipments arriving to the port without a license from 10th June to 30th September 2018.

For the Customs branches under Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the Department’s leader directed to clear scrap shipments that were eligible to import. At the same time, notifying shipping lines on the increase of backlogged scraps at ports and proposing to provide data on backlogged scrap containers to collaborate in handling.

Mr. Thang added that for the containers that were backlogged over 30 days, Customs branches requested enterprises (consignees in bill of ladings) to carry out import or re-export procedures if they were eligible to import. But there were some enterprises that did not carry out procedures with the Customs authority. For containers without consignees, they would be handled in accordance with provisions of the law.

Besides, in order to effectively handle, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department Dinh Ngoc Thang proposed as follows:

First, ministries and sectors need to amend regulations related to the handling of violations on transporting banned goods or conditional import and export goods.

Second, issuing regulations that shipping lines transporting scrap and waste must request importers and exporters to submit the import license or commit to present the import license before goods arriving to ports and implementing Customs procedures.

Third, port operators and Customs authority have the right to refuse to carry out import procedures and handle violations if goods are scrap arriving to ports without import licenses.

Fourth, proposing relevant ministries and sectors to change methods and implement transparency for the granting of scrap import licenses.

Venturing in faking and amending import license and dossier

Regarding the handling for scrap imports under proposal of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, Director General Nguyen Van Can emphasized that this issue was being drastically instructed by the Government, Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance.

“Especially, there is not any transparency in importing scrap and waste for imports with license and without license, eligible and illegible conditions,” the Director General emphasized.

In order to handle this situation, the Director General requested Customs units to identify goods entering Customs operation areas under the management of the Customs.

“If goods are banned goods, the Customs has the right to handle these goods without declaration by enterprises, including goods in transit. The Legal Department, the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department must instruct Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and local Customs Departments to hand this problem,” Mr. Can requested.

Especially, when carrying out Customs procedures to import scrap, enterprises must implement verification at Customs Department of Goods Verification (under the GDVC) in accordance with provisions of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. If goods are illegible, they should be considered and handled, especially with an investigation and verification of dossiers and documents.

Notably, Mr. Can said that the GDVC requested Customs Enforcement forces to prosecute some enterprises illegally importing scraps with factors that constituted smuggling.

These violations as follows: illegal imports, fake import license, erased and amended license, fake dossier and the volume of imported goods exceed the permitted volume.

Propose shipping lines and port operators to have responsibility for handling backlogged scrap

The Director General requested local Customs Department to review all dossiers related to scrap imports.

For the shipments being transported to Vietnam or backlogged in ports, the Director General requested that if shipments subject to banned goods, they need to be identified in accordance with their bill of ladings and considered to be prosecuted if they have factors constituting an offences. For shipments that are not eligible to be prosecuted, the Customs units must request shipping lines to have responsibility for the handling and transportation out of Vietnamese territory.

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For backlogged goods of over 30 days and 90 days, when the local Customs units implement all their tasks in accordance with regulations, they must request shipping lines and port operators to handle these goods.

“On the other hand, the entire Customs sector should conduct propaganda and dissemination of handling and prevention of scrap, waste and other banned goods to prevent the risk of Vietnam becoming the destination of scrap, waste and banned goods,” Mr. Can said.

In addition, the GDVC reported to the Ministry of Finance to report to the Government to instruct ministries and sectors to consider the granting of import license for scrap.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan