Many risks in bringing live animals for preservation


VCN – The transportation of live animals into storage may cause risks and lead to violations.

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Live pigs imported through Lao Bao international border gate, Quang Tri. Photo provided by Lao Bao Border Gate Customs Branch

Risk of violations

According to the General Department of Customs, in the process of carrying out customs procedures for imported goods under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the customs force has faced problems related to risks when enterprises bring live animals for preservation.

For the management of imported sturgeon, the General Department of Customs proposes to temporarily stop issuing the certificate of quarantine of imported aquatic animals and thereof for imported sturgeon without inspection results of the specialized agency to ensure that the imported sturgeon conforms to the species listed on the CITES permit and is on the List of aquatic species permitted to be traded in Vietnam until the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the competent authority of China approve the determination of the origin, varieties, species and scientific names of sturgeon species before issuing CITES permits for export to Vietnam.

Currently, most of the quarantine sites for live animals approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are scattered in areas far from the import border gate.

Goods are allowed to be transported to quarantine areas designated by the Quarantine agency but the transportation from the border gate to quarantine areas is not supervised.

This causes many potential risks such as disease transmission during transportation; the enterprise bringing goods to the wrong place; or the enterprise arbitrarily sells goods and does not preserve the original condition of the goods.

In addition, according to the local Customs units, the transportation of live animals for preservation also poses a risk of violations. In case the enterprise fails to bring the goods to the designated quarantine area, or sell the goods, the Department of Animal Health shall impose an administrative sanction for the act of “Bringing imported animals to the quarantine area other than the prescribed one or with a quantity other than the permitted stated in the quarantine dossiers” specified in point c, clause 3, Article 15 of Decree 90/2017/ND-CP on penalties for administrative violations against regulations on veterinary medicine.

However, after sanctioning, the Quarantine agency did not notify Customs of the circumstances of the case, while according to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 18 of Decree 128/2020/ND-CP dated 19 On October 10, 2020, the Government’s regulations on sanctioning of administrative violations in the field of customs, the above violations all have criminal factors.

The fact that the Quarantine agency has not promptly notified about the above violations may lead to the risk of violations or delays in the handling of violations; especially in cases of criminal violations due to lack of timely inspection, verification and missing of criminal evidence.

At present, there is no agency to assess species, genes, breeds, ages for live animals (such as pigs) to serve investigation work, especially for goods that have been exchanged to be consumed without quarantine and have not yet passed customs procedures, Customs said.

In particular, sanctions for violations are not strict enough (a fine ranging from VND14 million to VND16 million) so enterprises still intentionally commit the violations.

Enhancing coordination in supervision

To overcome and limit risks, the General Department of Customs proposes the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to request its attached units to strengthen management and supervision; promptly share information and documents related to violations of imported goods to the customs authority according to the provisions of Article 27 of Decree 85/2019/ND-CP on the implementation of administrative procedures under the National Single Window, the ASEAN Single Window and specialized inspection for imported and exported goods.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is proposed to approve quarantine areas near the import border area to reduce the risk of disease spreading and facilitate supervision of imported live animals waiting for quarantine.

The General Department of Customs requires the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to unify the method of issuing quarantine results of imported live animals to all affiliated units, specifically: updating the quarantine results on the National Single Window so that all consignments can be monitored closely, avoiding arbitrary consumption while waiting for quarantine results.

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The General Department of Customs also requests the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to study and amend regulations on penalties for administrative violations in the veterinary field to limit violations of enterprises during transportation of goods to preservation and quarantine areas; provide related information to agencies and organizations in charge of assessing species, genes, breeds, ages, for animals to serve verification and investigation work.

By N. Linh/ Huyen Trang


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