Fight against cross-border smuggling tightened


Lang Son: The customs force is stepping up the fight against cross-border smuggling in northern Lang Son province. This move follows booming import-export activities across these border gates as domestic consumer demand increases ahead of the Tet holiday. Rising cross-border shipments can correspond with an increase in smuggling and trade fraud. Customs officials at Huu Nghi International Border Gate have been implementing new legal regulations related to customs and import and export policies to create favourable conditions for customs clearance and good trading. Officials are also closely inspecting goods and their origins and conducting more comprehensive post-customs clearance inspections. Deputy head of the Huu Nghi Border Gate Customs Branch Phung Van Ba said his unit has deployed solutions to combat smuggling and trade fraud by increasing the screening of goods from declaration stage and each stage beyond. The unit will mark shipments that violate procedures for additional inspection to ensure tha t businesses do not violate shipping procedures, he said. Deputy head of Tan Thanh Customs Branch Nong Quang Hung said his unit has strictly controlled vehicles transporting goods into and out of shipping yards. The unit has also focused on classifying import and export channels and closely monitoring warehouses and other storage areas for goods. He added that his unit has discovered and handled at least 63 violations, imposing administrative fines of over 4 billion VND in 2023. Vu Tuan Binh, Deputy Director of the Lang Son Customs Department, said that the department has directed border gate customs units to specifically inspect exported and imported goods and items with high tax rates to prevent smuggled and counterfeit goods. He said customs authorities will collaborate with relevant government entities to strengthen the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit good shipments along busy shipping routes. Lang Son province is now home to seven border gates - Chi Ma, Tan Thanh, Coc Nam, Na N ua, Na Hinh, Huu Nghi and Dong Dang. According to the department, in 2023, units handled over 1,500 violations of smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods and issued fines totaling over 8.3 billion VND. Late last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang issued a plan for the prevention and control of cross-smuggling ahead of the 2024 Tet holiday. Under the plan, relevant ministries, agencies, and localities are required to build and implement campaigns to prevent smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit products through the Tet period and beyond. Measures include increased inspections and patrols along border areas and at border gates, seaports, airports, and routes where smugglers often transport goods and commodities into Vietnam. The Deputy Prime Minister also asked government bodies to strengthen market inspections, including inspections of the e-commerce platforms and social network pages such as Facebook, Zalo, and TikTok. The Deputy Prime Minister's plan also emphasised a focus on preventin g the smuggling of banned products, low-quality products, high-tax products, and essential commodities serving consumers during Tet./. Source: Vietnam News Agency