|Infringing imported electric cables seized by Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch. Photo: T.H|
Goods declared Chinese origin but labelled Vietnamese origin
On July 11, 2022, P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd (Long An) registered the import declaration No. 1048362xxx/A12 at the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch to import three containers of coaxial electric cables with copper-plated steel cores wrapped in aluminium foil insulation, without connectors (semi-finished products) with 14 different types. The declaration is classified into the Yellow channel (documentary check).
Through the check, the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch suspected that the shipment had signs of law violation and proposed that the leader of the customs branch change the goods to the Red channel for physical inspection. Under the witness of a representative of P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd., customs officers opened three containers and asked the Technical Center for Standards, Metrology and Quality 3 (Center 3) to conduct verification at the scene.
From the physical inspection and the notice of inspection results of Center 3, Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch identified that P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd. declared falsely type, model, brand and origin. The goods are declared of Chinese origin but packed in cartons printed with the “MADE IN VIET NAM” text and the label on the cable reel with the text “MANUFACTURED IN VIET NAM”. Due to the wrong declaration of model and origin, they are not entitled to special preferential import tax rates. The Customs agency determined the value of the shipment is over VND7.3 billion with a missing tax amount of nearly VND1.2 billion.
It is identified that the intentional false declarations to illegally bring goods from abroad to Vietnam with the large missing tax amount of P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd are sufficient to constitute the crime of “smuggling” specified in Article 188 of the Penal Code 2015 as revised in 2017. Therefore, the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch prosecuted a criminal case on the crime of “smuggling” against P. Trading Production Co., Ltd. at Cat Lai port, and transferred the case file to the Investigation Police Agency of Ho Chi Minh City Public Security for handling according to its competence.
Suspicions of origin fraud
In addition to the shipment mentioned above, the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch also discovered three other cases of P. Trading Production Co., Ltd.
In the first case, the company opened four declarations to import 19 containers of goods under border-gate transfer at Duc Hoa Customs Branch, Long An Customs Department. From October 28, 2022, to October 31, 2022, the Customs Enforcement Team (Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch) coordinated with relevant agencies to conduct a physical inspection and ask for an assessment at Center 3. Based on the inspection and assessment results, the Customs agency determined that P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd committed to falsely declaring model, type, and origin, leading to missing tax payable.
In the second case, through the inspection of goods to the port, Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch discovered nine containers of two bills of lading, the consignee on the house bill of lading (HBL) is P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd, but this company refused to receive the goods for the reason that the consignor made a mistake and asked to return the goods.
Disagreeing with the returning of goods at the company’s request, on January 6, 2023, and January 9, 2023, the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch coordinated with relevant units to do a physical inspection of goods. Initial inspection results for four of nine containers showed that most of the cables were completed. The cable reel was labelled on the package with the text “MANUFACTURED IN VIETNAM”. This case is similar to the shipment of three imported containers that have been prosecuted and 19 imported containers mentioned above.
In the third case, when expanding the verification of import and export goods of this company, Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch identified an export shipment consisting of 10 containers belonging to four Customs declarations registered at Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch on August 11, 2022. The goods were declared as coaxial cables, without connectors, used for signal transmission, voltage 36 V without brand and origin. To clarify this export shipment, the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch coordinated with Cai Mep Port Customs Branch (Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department) to conduct a physical inspection and solicit assessment.
As a result, the goods are branded PPC Perfect Flex (shown on the wire and cable reel); The origin is indicated on the carton, and the cable reel is printed and labelled with the text “MANUFACTURED IN VIETNAM”, the company made false declaration of trademark and origin. This case is similar to those mentioned above. The total declared value of these four declarations is US$553,240.
|Over 500 containers of goods congested at Cat Lai Port are handled|
Thus, more than 40 import-export containers related to P. Production and Trading Co., Ltd. are all questionable. Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch has transferred documents and worked with competent agencies for handling.
|The leader of the Saigon Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch said that this is a very complicated and organized case involving many domestic and foreign organizations and individuals that must be investigated, clarified and handled following the provisions of the law.|