|Customs staff check smuggled goods seized in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
HA NOI (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged local authorities and government agencies to work together to prevent smuggling and related activities during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.
The focus will be to monitor the illegal transportation of goods, including water transport modes, through the border areas and other key areas where a large quantity of smuggled products is likely to be consumed, he said at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Smuggling, Counterfeit Goods Trading and Commercial Frauds Prevention on Saturday.
He added that localities must prepare and implement specific measures to prevent smuggling, the sale of counterfeit products and trade fraud. They must also handle violations strictly, including punishing officials found attempting to cover up such violations.
Phuc noted that while smuggling activities and trade frauds have become more complicated, the related legal framework remains weak and ineffective. There is also little attention being paid to warnings about an increase in fraudulent activities during specific periods.
According to experts, smuggling activities and the trading in counterfeit products surge around the Tet festival because of an increase in demand for goods, in particular, clothes, food items and household products.
The steering committee reported that regulatory authorities have, so far this year, handled nearly 80,000 cases of smuggling, counterfeit product trading and commercial frauds, leading to the imposition of a cumulative fine of over VND350 billion (US$16.4 million).
This time around, the local authorities are implementing a market stabilisation programme and are storing products in anticipation of higher demand during and before the Tet holiday, so that people from all walks of life, particularly those living in remote, rural and mountainous areas, can easily gain access to the products they need. — VNS