September 20, 2019 23:07

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Study two options for handling confiscated smuggled foreign cigarettes

10:19 | 16/03/2019

VCN - After 6 months of implementing Decision No. 20/2018 / QD-TTg on the destruction of confiscated smuggled foreign cigarettes as fake cigarettes, unqualified cigarettes and pilot sale auction of confiscated smuggled foreign cigarettes as qualified cigarettes eligible for export to foreign countries, many problems arise, leading to difficulties in implementing the Decision. The General Department of Customs is drafting a proposal of two treament options.

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study two options for handling confiscated smuggled foreign cigarettes
Illegal imported cigarettes are arrested by Ho Chi Minh City Customs and Police. Photo: Thu Hoa.

According to the review by the General Department of Customs, since the effective date of Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg, localities have not yet organized an auction to re-export and destroy any confiscated cigarette shipments.

Many problems arising during the implementation leads to difficulties in the implementation of Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg.

Firstly, it is the difficulty in determining inspection organizations. There are suggestions that it is possible to ask for inspection at the Tobacco Institute, Criminal Science under the Ministry of Public Security. However, it is not feasible because the quality analysis and testing of a sample takes a lot of time, while seizures takes place frequently and continuously with many brands and types. Inviting competent authorities to a province to evaluate the quality is difficult and costly.

Secondly, it is difficulty in the determination of quality criteria. Smuggled cigarettes are foreign cigarettes, and in addition to common trademarks, Jet, Hero, there are also a lot of other types and foreign brands. While the current criteria for determining tobacco quality only applies to domestically produced cigarettes or imported drugs according to Vietnam's domestic standards which are not suitable to determine the quality of foreign cigarettes as a basis for verification of eligibility for an auction to be exported abroad or not.

In fact, until now, since the Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg took effect on June 15, 2018, there are no confiscated smuggled cigarettes being exported.

Thirdly, Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg suspended the effect of Decision 2371 / QD-TTg dated April 26, 2014 on the destruction of all smuggled imported cigarettes, as a result, the funding support for the destruction according to Circular 19/2015 / TT-BTC (based on Decision 2371 / QD-TTg) cannot be implemented anymore. Currently, the number of smuggled cigarettes is still significant (more than 2 million packs) without treatment options.

From problems during the implementation of Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg, now, the General Department of Customs is reporting to the Ministry of Finance on studying and submitting to the Prime Minister the amendment and supplementation to the Decision in one of two options:

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Option 1: Submit to the Prime Minister to issue a Decision to abolish Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg; continue destruction of all confiscated smuggled cigarettes under Decision 2371 / QD-TTg.

Option 2: Submit to the Prime Minister to issue a Decision to replace Decision 20/2018 / QD-TTg, in the direction of assigning the autonomy in selecting a destruction option or auction option for export to the competent authority which issues the confiscation decision.

By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang