VCN – In the recent times, suspecting some shipments in transit through Cai Mep port and Cai Lai port, Ho Chi Minh City, the Customs agencies including Southern Anti-smuggling Control Team (under the General Department of Vietnam Customs), the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department  inspected and detained tens of containers at the border gates.

smuggling transformed through goods in transit part 2 detaining immediately at border gates

Smuggled goods detected in the shipments in transit at Cai Mep port, Vung Tau. Photo: T.H

Major on banned items

The Customs authorities mostly inspect the shipments detected and detained at the border gates because shipping companies either denied the goods or did not operate at the business address. The banned goods are mainly electronic and refrigerated products subject to banned import and conditional transit.

On 5/5, at the Cat Lai port, Ho Chi Minh City, the Southern Anti-Smuggling Control Team (Team 3) under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has coordinated with the Sai Gon port zone 1 Customs Branch and the competent authorities to search two containers of transshipment and found out many smuggled goods and banned goods. According to the Team 3, the above two containers were transshipped from Japan to Vietnam then to Cambodia. When the shipments arrived at Cat Lai, the Team 3 has detected suspicious signs and monitor, supervise and search. Accordingly, detecting 2 containers of nearly 100 used motorcycles, used many office equipments and used amplifiers subject to the list of banned imports.

Earlier, at Cai Mep port (Ba Ria – Vung Tau), the Team 3 under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and Cai Mep border gate Customs Branch also suspected many shipments in transit, so that they searched and detected tens of containers of used electronic, refrigerated products and used motorcycles subject to banned import and conditional transit. In some cases, the smugglers also hide cars in the shipment in transit. Typically, in June 2016, searching a shipment in transit from Korea to Vietnam to be exported to Cambodia, the Saigon Port Zone 1 Customs Branch collaborated with the Team 3 under the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department to discovered 2 used cars inside and tens of use car engines. This shipment was transported by Foodbank company limited (located in 140/12 Le Duc Tho, Ward 6, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City and included a container of 100% new fabric. According to the Customs Branch, these goods of the wrong declaration must have a license issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to be transited in accordance with law, but enterprise did not have this license, they disguised these goods as fabric.

Not only smuggled goods and banned goods disguised as goods transit through the sea, smugglers also take advantage of air routes to transit high-value shipments. Recently, by the end of April 2017 the, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch has discovered a lot of medical equipment which was a used CT scanners which declared 100 % new exported products in the Customs declaration made by Bee Logistics Corporation in order to evade the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s licensing. This shipment consisted of 10 bales weighed 5.7 tons, worth over 3.2 billion vnd in the method of taking advantage of transit to export to Cambodia.

Full of tricks

In addition to the above tricks, some smugglers also took advantage of transit type subject to an exemption from physical inspection to transfer the type and re-export to Vietnam for consumption. Actually, the Customs found out some cases that initial receivers declared on the manifest were enterprises in Vietnam, but when the Customs or other competent authorities discovered signs of violations of Customs law and then inspected the goods, the enterprises did not come to the procedures, and then adjust receivers at Cambodia and other countries and implement the procedures for goods in transit.

Another fraudulent trick for goods in transit goods is that for shipments subject to conditional imports or banned goods, after they are transported out of Vietnam’s territory, enterprises will seek to bring them back Vietnam in many different methods such as subdivision shipment to transport to Vietnam through the trail, tracks, and two sub-gates; Or the enterprises which opened the declaration will abuse channel classification of inspection exemptions to re-import to Vietnam.

A case in point is that recently on 3 May 2017, the Bee Logistics Corporation (enterprise opened Customs declaration) completed Customs procedures for shipment of traditional medicines consisting 41 bales (nearly 500,000 pills) weighed nearly 1 ton, worth nearly 5 billion vnd in transit to transport to Cambodia through Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh) and fulfilled the Customs procedures in accordance with regulations to transit this shipment through Vietnam border to Cambodia. Determining that this was a trick of enterprise to cheat competent authorities to illegally transport the above goods to Vietnam through cross-border trade, the Customs Branch conducted operational methods such as informing and collaborating with Police Department on Anti-Smuggling (C74) under the Ministry of Public Security to closely monitor the transport routes and discover that the shipment was illegally re-exported to Vietnam on the morning of 9 May, 2017 through trails at Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh). The case is in process of further investigation.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Branch, the unit implemented over 2,800 declarations on average on a transform of transit type. The goods are mainly transited through 3 main border gates: Moc Bai (Tay Ninh) with over 2,000 declarations, Xa Mat (Tay Ninh) with nearly 400 declarations and Hoa Lu (Binh Phuoc) with over 350 declarations.

By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang