VCN- Maersk Vietnam Company Limited has sent documents to the press about the case that the Customs Control Team of Hai Phong Department of Customs held 7 Maersk containers in custody, which took 235 days for storage with costs of more than 11 billion vnd. Why did Customs officers hold these containers in custody for such a long time?
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According to the findings of a Customs Newspaper reporter, the reason for holding 7 Maersk containers in custody of the Hai Phong Department of Customs for so long was that these containers had Antarctic toothfish - prohibited goods. Toothfish in these 7 containers were the result of international criminal cases, which needed legal assistance from foreign countries, leading to a long time to solve.
According to Customs records, the 7 containers arrived Tan Vu port (Hai Phong Province) on January 13, 2016. However, the transport agency (the Branch of Vietnam Mask Line Shipping Company in Hai Phong) did not implement Customs declarations under current regulations.
Through operational measures, the Hai Phong Department of Customs detected the containers with prohibited goods and decided to hold them in custody for investigation. According to the transport agency, these 7 containers were not imported into Vietnam so the enterprise did not implement Customs declarations.
However, during the investigation, the Hai Phong Department of Customs collected a number of documents and evidence which showed that before the ship arrived at Tan Vu port, the transport agency sent notifications to an enterprise in Vietnam for receipt of goods but this enterprise refused to receive the shipment.
In the course of processing the incident, the Hai Phong Department of Customs received information about the illegal origin of the shipment from a number of domestic and foreign agencies (illegally catching fish, violating the provisions of the Law against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU).
Notably, according to some sources, this ship containing toothfish was accused of catching fish illegally by a number of international organizations on the protection of marine resources, relating to some cases which were prosecuted by Spanish authorities.
According to the Hai Phong Department of Customs, the shipment arriving at Tan Vu port, Hai Phong had illegal signs. Thus, there was a need to investigate and handle according to the current law and treaties of Vietnam.
Many countries are tracing
Currently, toothfish are prohibited goods which receive the attention of many countries.
|the Hai Phong Department of Customs had a meeting with diplomatists of Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Do Khanh.|
Immediately after the Hai Phong Department of Customs held these 7 containers in custody, on March 29, 2016, representatives of the Embassy of Australia and New Zealand in Vietnam worked with the Hai Phong Department of Customs about this incident.
At the meeting, representatives of the Embassies of both countries said that the shipment which was seized by the Hai Phong Department of Customs contained fish illegal caught in Australia and New Zealand.
The Diplomatists of Australia and New Zealand said toothfish were precious species, usually living at depths of 4,000 meters below sea level near Antarctica.
The mining and fishing must be licensed and adhere to the strict conditions of the relevant authorities of Australia and New Zealand with the number of limited fishes.
Before coming to Vietnam, this ship was pursued by Customs officers and other functional forces of Australia but the ship escaped.
The ship containing 7 containers with toothfish passed many countries such as Thailand, Africa and Malaysia before arriving Vietnam.
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The representatives of the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand suggested that Vietnam authorities should confiscate these 7 containers for auction or destruction, not to fall back into the international smuggling groups. However, according to the Hai Phong Department of Customs, due to the incident related to exhibits of many criminal cases prosecuted by Spanish authorities, it takes a long time for Customs authorities to investigate and handle (including the proposal for legal assistance from Spanish authorities). Thus, according to the provisions of the law, the Hai Phong Department of Customs has conducted the handling the 7 violated containers in a timely manner for completing the legal documents.
By Thai Binh/ Hoang Anh