Many imported goods that are under-value are rejected by HCM City Customs Department. Photo: T.H
Signs of fraud in declaration
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC), at the end of 2022 and near holidays such as Christmas, New Year 2023, and Lunar New Year, consumer demand for some imported products tends to surge such as wine, beer, drinks, confectionery, household electronics, cars and motorcycles. Therefore, enterprises will promote the import of goods to meet domestic consumer demand.
The GDVC said that these are items with high tax rates, some of which are subject to special consumption taxes, leading to potential risks of commercial fraud in value, and causing revenue loss. Therefore, in order to strengthen customs control and effectively manage customs valuation and prevent fraud via under-value declaration, the GDVC directs local customs departments to closely control the declared value, identify suspicious signs and implement consultation on customs value as per provisions of Article 25 of Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC amended supplemented in Clause 14, Article 1 of Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance.
The GDVC requests the departments to focus on inspecting commodity groups that have potential fraud in customs value such as alcohol, beer, beverages, cars, motorcycles, confectionery, household electronics, and consumer goods, and avoid unmarking suspicious signs for products on the list of goods with risk on customs value whose declared value is lower than the database.
Arrange and assign officers who have been trained in customs valuation, and have the capacity and experience to perform customs valuation and consultation to improve the effectiveness of this work. Resolutely reject the declared value for shipments with under value declaration compared to the database. Do not rotate experienced officers in customs valuation to perform other work not related to management for customs valuation.
Before the consultation, the customs departments to collect sufficient information, assess the accuracy of the collected information, not use unverified information, not use suspicious information when consulting, and determine the price as per Decision No. 1929/QD-TCHQ dated July 20, 2020. In addition, the departments must carefully study the records to find out any contradiction affecting the value, and plan the issues that need to be clarified during the consultation.
During the consultation, the contradiction in the dossier affecting the customs value and the contradiction between the declared value and the collected information, transaction, negotiation, contract signing, and payment must be clarified. Requesting the customs declarant to provide documents proving the accuracy of the declared value; checking the value under the instructions in Official Letter No. 5371/TCHQ- TXNK dated November 12, 2021.
If the customs declarant fails to prove and explain the contradictions, the customs will reject the customs value and redetermine the value under provisions of Clause 3, Article 3 of Circular 39/2015/TT-BTC amended and supplemented in Clause 2, Article 1 of Circular 60/2019/TT-BTC and Article 25 of Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC amended and supplemented in Clause 14, Article 1 of Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC.
It is strictly forbidden to implement simple consultation and reject the declared value in case of insufficient grounds, or re-determine customs value similar to the declared value which was rejected because this value is suspicious.
Fully update information on customs inspection, consultation and valuation into relevant systems, update inspection results to GTT02 system as prescribed in Decision No. 1810/QD-TCHQ dated June 15, 2018 and Article 6 of Decision No. 1929/QD-TCHQ dated July 20, 2020.
The departments need to direct specialized teams to review the inspection, consultation, price determination, and update the data of their customs branches to promptly detect shortcomings. and take corrective measures as prescribed in Article 2 of Decision No. 1810/QD-TCHQ dated June 15, 2018.
Regularly review and collect information to propose the GDVC to develop and supplement the reference price for items that have not got a reference price or revise the reference price for goods of which declared value is more than 10% higher and lower than the reference price in the List of import and export goods at risk in terms of value as prescribed in Article 23 of Circular 39/2015/TT -BTC.
Ask post-clearance audit units to gather information, review and conduct post clearance audit for signs of violations for items at risk of value fraud.
Randomly inspect public performance at customs branches to detect and strictly handle officers and units that do not comply with regulations in Decision 2799/QD-TCHQ.
Reviewing risk items
The GDVC asks the Post Clearance Customs Department to gather information and make plans on post-clearance audit to handle under-value declaration cases for tax evasion and fraud, especially for consumer goods.
In addition, the department is required to instruct local customs departments to perform post-clearance audit for risk items and implement audit plans at request by the GDVC.
The country’s top customs regulator directs the Inspectorate Department to monitor the performance of officers at customs branches and inspect public performance on the online customs system to detect and prevent officers who do not comply with regulations on value inspection, consultation, determination, and updating data. Collect information to propose specialized inspections for enterprises and goods showing signs of value fraud.
The online supervision unit is asked to strengthen control for shipments that carry out procedures across the country and show high risk on customs value to direct customs branches to check and determine customs value, especially in key areas with large traffic volumes such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and Lang Son.
The Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department is required to drastically take measures to control and inspect key areas and items, focusing on products with great value and high tax rates and high demand at the end of the year; closely supervise import and export goods, entities, and fraud in price trade; Coordinate with technical departments to investigate enterprises showing signs of serious violations on value for handling.
The Import-Export Tax Department is in charge of monitoring customs value declaration for key commodities, and supervises customs valuation by the local customs departments to direct them to perform in accordance with regulations.