HCM City Customs Reviewing containers congested at seaports

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4016 4509 9 2640 IMG 5862 - HCM City Customs Reviewing containers congested at seaports
Goods imported at Cat Lai port. Photo: T.C

More than 1,000 cargo containers processed

The HCM City Customs Department said Cat Lai port recorded the largest backlog of goods in the seaport system of Ho Chi Minh City. More than 1,000 congested containers have been processed by the Management Council of Cargo Backlog at Cat Lai Port since the beginning of 2021.

According to Deputy Director of the Saigon Port Area 1 Customs Branch, Deputy Chairman of the Council Nguyen Thanh Long, for handling congested goods at Cat Lai port, the unit has now completed detailed inventory and classification for over 700 containers of congested goods at Cat Lai port. The inventories are mainly general goods, fabrics and sewing accessories; chemicals, fertilizers, household goods and food. The unit is processing this backlog.

The Management Council of Cargo Backlog has recently continued to list more than 100 containers of goods that have been backlogged for more than 90 days at Cat Lai port to find the owner before handling. After posting information to find the owner on the media, if the council does not receive any response, the goods will be treated under Circular 203/2014/TT-BTC dated December 22, 2014, of the Ministry of Finance.

Notably, at present, Cat Lai port has over 300 backlogged containers of goods subject to key supervision that are being handled by the HCM City Customs Department. The HCM City Customs Department said the backlog of containers is mainly due to the consignees named on the manifest are businesses that have been investigated by the authorities.

After receiving information from the investigation, the Saigon Port Area 1 Customs Branch has requested the supervision of these cargo containers for many years. Currently, the branch has sent official dispatches three times to the relevant authorities for consultancy of handling, but the branch has not received opinions from the Police Department for Economic Crimes (C03) under the Ministry of Public Security and the Economic Police Division (PC03) under the HCM City Public Security.

To handle the above-mentioned containers, the Saigon Port Area 1 Customs Branch proposed, this number of goods is actively monitored by the branch, rather than the request of the authorities. To ensure the integrity in handling goods with signs of violation, the branch will continue to review and send an official dispatch to the relevant agencies again (for the fourth time). If the branch does not receive any feedback, the branch will conduct inventory, classification and treat them under Circular 203/2014/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance.

Propose to handle many cases

The handling of cargo backlogs at the seaport has led to special cases due to the influence of the pandemic, and the HCM City Customs Department has proactively proposed solutions.

The HCM City Customs Department is proposing considering handling dozens of backlogged containers at the enterprise’s request. According to the HCM City Customs Department, the branch has announced to find the owner of all the above consignments backlogged at Cat Lai port and the announcement has expired, the consignments have been inventoried and classified according to Circular 203/2014/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many import-export businesses have difficulties in receiving goods. For the above cases, the businesses have paid the seller in full, paid all the storage costs of containers and yards and paid taxes to the state budget.

In addition, the purpose of handling backlogged goods is to quickly free up warehouses for the port, free up containers so that shipping lines can soon put them into operation, avoiding prolonging the time causing pollution to the environment for perishable goods and reducing the storage costs of containers, yards, etc.

Besides, the handling of backlogged goods with scrap at the HCM City Customs Department has some problems.

The Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch has made a record of administrative violations against shipping lines about the act of importing ineligible goods. The branch has invited shipping lines three times to sign the violation records, but most of the shipping lines refused. The branch has requested the Saigon Newport Corporation to sign the sanction record as a witness and has issued a Decision to apply remedial measures by forcing re-export or taking the goods out of Vietnamese territory.

According to the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch, the import of scrap goods that do not meet the requirements on conditions, standards and technical regulations in Vietnamese territory in the area under management by the Saigon Port Area I Customs Branch, was carried out by shipping lines from August 2, 2014 to August 2, 2018.

Thus, by the time of making the sanction record, the above violation has passed the deadline for sanctioning administrative violations specified in Article 6 of the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations. In addition, according to Clause 1, Article 65 of the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations on cases in which a decision on sanctioning administrative violations is not issued, the backlogged goods including scrap at the branch are subject to the provision that a decision on sanctioning administrative violations is not issued.

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Problems related to the handling of backlogged goods have been reported by the HCM City Customs Department to the General Department of Customs for solutions to create favorable conditions for seaports to receive goods at the end of the year.

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