Customs detects suspicious signs in imports of donated cars

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VCN – Although documents of donated cars are submitted by importers, Customs has detected suspicious signs in the imports of these vehicles.

4058 0727 nhieu sieu xe nhap khau vao dau nam moi 04 .5854 - Customs detects suspicious signs in imports of donated cars
Luxury cars are imported across the Vietnam International Container Terminals (the VICT port). Photo: T.H

Suspicious signs in import dossiers

Recently, many dossiers of donated cars have been submitted by the importer in accordance with regulations in Article 4 of Circular 143/2015 of the Ministry of Finance, according to HCM City Customs Department.

However, Customs has discovered suspicious signs in the donation between the donor and the recipient.

Many overseas car donors are individuals of Vietnamese origin or foreign enterprises whose owners are of Vietnamese origin.

Cars have been donated by the same foreign organization or individual to many organizations and individuals in Vietnam.

The recipient of the donated car presents documents such as the Memorandum of Understanding, consulting services agreement between the two partners. However, many recipients are Vietnamese enterprises that have been established in 2020 and 2021; the signing date of the cooperation agreement is near the date of donating the car.

Some importers have submitted the memorandums of understanding or the consulting services agreements that are not related to the registered business lines of Vietnamese enterprises or those that do not have business registration certificate related to consulting, introducing and assisting foreign partners in finding partners and expanding the Vietnamese market.

In addition, the reason for donating the car is declared by the importer in a general manner such as thanks for the cooperation and support by the partner, or starting a long-term cooperation relationship or building the solidarity for long-term cooperation.

Many Vietnamese receipts have got business registration certificates in many business lines, including wholesale and retail of automobiles and other motor vehicles.

HCM City Customs Department has detected some suspicious signs for individuals. For example, some recipients have been donated the car by the foreign company when the owner is a Vietnamese person. These recipients have not presented documents proving the relationship between the two sides.

Proposing to remove obstacles

According to the HCM City Customs Department, the imports of suspected cases may aim to trade cars and abuse the policy of imports under the gift or donation regime for non-commercial purposes.

Recently, the department has refused to grant the import permit for three Vietnamese enterprises that are newly established in 2021, and their documents proving the cooperative relationship between the donor and the recipient and the gift letter are signed within 30 – 60 days since the date of establishment.

However, HCM City proposes the General Department of Vietnam Customs to solve some problems arising in the granting and refusing import permits for cars as gifts.

Accordingly, the procedure for granting the import permit for automobiles for non-commercial purposes is stipulated in Circular 143/2015 of the Ministry of Finance. However, the Circular does not specify that the suspicious cases mentioned above are not eligible for import.

Gift letters with legalization certificates are issued by the Vietnamese consular office abroad; the Vietnamese translation is certified by the competent authority in Vietnam (District Justice Department).

According to the instruction of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, if the customs detects suspected signs in the relationship between the donor and the recipient, the recipient is required to provide documents proving the relationship.

However, the Department is facing difficulties in verifying suspicious information and identifying the documents proving the relationship, as well as documents for gifts or donations or proving the relationship between the donor and the receiver.

By Le Thu/ Ngoc Loan

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