|Market watch police in northern coastal Quang Ninh Province check smuggled electric appliances seized from the Mong Cai border gate. The forces will strengthen inspections to curb smuggling and trade fraud in the next six months. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Dong
HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai on Tuesday urged the nation's market watch forces to take more drastic measures to curb smuggling and other forms of trade fraud in the second half of this year.
Addressing a conference on Tuesday, Hai asked them to concentrate on six "hot" groups of goods that were usually smuggled or faked - fertiliser, fuel, liquefied gas, helmets, cigarettes and poultry.
He said that the ministry would improve the legal framework and relevant documents to facilitate the work of market watch forces.
Do Thanh Lam, deputy head of the ministry's Market Watch Department, said that so far, the Government has issued 45 decrees on fines for violations involving the production, trade and transport of products including those that tend to be smuggled or counterfeited.
However, in nearly half of the decrees, the market watch force was not empowered to impose fines, he said.
Hence many people misunderstood that force could only work with products that industry and trade ministry was assigned to manage, he added.
Lam said that smuggling and trade of contraband products was developing in complicated ways, particularly in border provinces of Lang Son, Quang Tri and other southwestern localities.
The conference heard that in the last six months, market watch forces examined over 90,800 cases, punished nearly 48,700 violations and collected fines of VND202.76 trillion (US$9.5 billion), nearly 16 per cent higher than that of the same period of last year.
"This is because of a big gap in prices of foreign and domestic products and high import taxes for wine, beverage, sugar and fuel," he said.
Lam said that the co-operation among agencies and provinces was not effective as it should be, being limited to infrequent exchange of experiences and inter-sectoral inspections.
He said a detailed plan should be drawn up to strengthen co-operation between market watch bureaus of different localities, including joint action against all kinds of trade fraud.
Can Tho City establishes anti-smuggling steering committee
The Mekong Delta City of Can Tho has established a steering committee to oversee Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud operations to better prevent, detect and crack down on violations.
Truong Quang Hoai Nam, vice chairman of the municipal People's Committee, said that they would focus efforts on hotspots including stations, markets and supermarkets, impose stricter control over goods that threatened national security, public health and the environment such as drugs, explosives, fuel, tobacco, fertilisers and wildlife products.
In the first half of this year, the city's Industry and Trade Department reported 767 violations relating to smuggling, counterfeit goods and trade fraud, collecting VND9.1 billion ($427,000) in fines. — VNS