February 25, 2020 14:54

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Shortcomings facing the authorities of Customs

09:45 | 02/08/2019

VCN- Regarding the difficulties and problems of the customs control forces in the performance of assigned tasks and authority, Customs Newspaper has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Khanh Quang; Deputy Director of the Anti-Trafficking Investigation Department (General Department of Customs).  

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shortcomings facing the authorities of customs
Mr. Nguyen Khanh Quang; Deputy Director of the Anti-Trafficking Investigation Department (General Department of Customs).

Regarding obstacles and shortcomings ofthe Customs force, especially the Customs Control Force in implementing anti-smuggling authority, can you analyze and clarify these difficulties?

Difficulties and problems related to the implementation of criminal investigation authority and handling of administrative violations have been mentioned comprehensively by the Customs Newspaper in past articles.

Here, I would like to analyze, clarify and emphasize some outstanding issues that causedthe implementation of the authority of the Customs tonot achieve the expected results.

For example, in order to carry out the duties and authority of the investigating agency, the Customs authority has the right to convene and interrogate the accused; summon, take testimonies of related suspects.But in fact, many cases of Customs Control forces have summoned up to 2-3 times, but related individuals did not respond. While it is the investigating body of the police industry, the suspectsare almost impossible to repudiate.

In my opinion, the situation of related suspectsnot coming to work with Customs authorities has not had specific regulations to support customs authorities to implement this authority (authority to convene related suspects) such as not being in criminal custody of suspicious suspectsand the Customs agency also has no temporary custody, while the short period of administrative detention is not effective.So, for the trafficking phenomenon is not cooperated, evading the investigation activities of the customs authorities.

This is a common problem in the investigation of customs authorities.

With many cases showing signs of smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods, when working with the People's Procuracy, this agency requires additional investigation and clarification, but asmentioned above, due to unrelated partners, the implementation of the request for additional investigation is deadlocked.

On the other hand, when coordinating with a number of agencies and organizations to expand the investigation, the Customs agency received moderate cooperation, even avoiding because of the viewpoint, thinking about the investigation role of Customs forces to a certain extent.

For example, in the banking sector, the Customs authorities need to investigate the accounts and transactions of the suspects, but many cases have no goodwill, and even ask the Customs authorities to make a decision to prosecuteto coordinate the provision of documents.

As you mentioned above, in addition to inadequacies in legal regulations, the Customs forces still face many difficulties in coordination, can you tell us more about this issue?

The target of coordination is to contribute to the better implementation of the functions and tasks assigned by the forces. But in fact, many cases are not completedas required.

In the implementation of coordination work at border gates, the border has a situation of misunderstanding, falsifying functions and tasks in the direction of pushing the work of their units to cover them all, encroaching on activities of other branches,specifically encroaching on the duties of the customs force.

Typically, at the land border gate, the two active forces are the Border Guard and Customs. The two forces have clearly defined functions, tasks and authority.

But in recent years, Border Guard forces have cooperated with Customs authorities in carrying out procedures for import and export goods (checking, controlling and supervising goods). This is not truebecause domestic laws and international practices stipulate that Customs is the only force to perform this task. To carry out procedures for import and export goods, at the same time, to firmly grasp and well implement the provisions of many relevant domestic and international legal documents.

In my opinion, there may be a misunderstanding about the provisions of the Customs Law. The Customs Law only stipulates that the areas of trails and openings at the border of the customs office, the force will not be assigned, and the Border Guard shall be assigned to perform the anti-smuggling task.

I would like to emphasize that the task of combating smuggling is not assigned;and the task of carrying out procedures for import and export goods is not assigned.

shortcomings facing the authorities of customs
Smuggled firecrackersseized by Ha Giang Customs. Photo: T.B

In order to overcome the problems and shortcomings mentioned above, what isthe fundamental solution required?

The handling of the above problems and shortcomings is essential to further improve the effectiveness of the prevention and combat of smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeit goods and illegal transportation of goods which havetaken place in recent years with a lot of sophisticated tricks.

In order to deal with the cause, in my opinion, the Customs authorities must first identify the problem and promptly make recommendations and suggestions. In addition to reflecting the leaders of agencies and units that are facing difficulties and overlaps, we must petition the competent authorities in law building to get an objective evaluation and analysis with different aspects to be able to amend and supplement promptly.

In addition, professional activities in the prevention and combat of smuggling, trade frauds, and illegal transportation of goods across the border of the Customs force must be continued to make themmore efficient, clearly demonstrating the functions, tasks and role of the customs authorities on this front.

By Thai Bình/Bui Diep