Viet Nam News
Đàm Thanh Thế, office chief of the National Steering Committee 389, speaks to the Việt Nam News Agency about his committee’s resolve to fight trade fraud and fake goods as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches.
What would you say are notable successes gained in the fight against trade fraud and fake goods in 2017?
Right at the onset of 2017, the National Anti-smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Steering Committee (known as National Steering Committee 389) asked all ministries, sectors and localities nationwide to develop their own action plans in this fight.
We have received quite positive reports from all localities. As of October 2017, more than 200,000 violation cases were detected – much higher than the previous year.
Cross-border smuggling has decreased considerably, particularly along the northern border. Northern border provinces had reported an uptick in cross-border smuggling and trade fraud in the early months of the year. So the committee co-operated closely with the General Customs Department and functional agencies from Lạng Sơn, Quảng Ninh and Lào Cai provinces to develop a detailed plan for fighting these harmful activities.
After more than four months of implementing the plan, I can say that several notable achievements have been recorded, as a result of which law and order has been restored in border markets and cross-border trading.
Will the committee step up its activities as the 2018 Lunar New Year nears?
Yes. A detailed plan has been worked out to tackle trade fraud during and after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
The plan emphasises preventive measures against illegal cross-border trade, particularly informal trade.
Illegally imported firecrackers, for instance, has been headache for us during this festival season for several years. The situation is also true of some other commodities on the list of items whose import is banned.
The National Steering Committee 389, steering committees of ministries, branches and provinces nationwide have all vowed to step up these activities to ensure consumers will have good quality food and drinks in the upcoming Lunar New Year and in the year 2018.
More recently, the smuggling of oil and gas has become a big issue. What has the committee done about this?
Trade fraud is an enemy of the national economy, particularly the smuggling of oil and gas. With advice from the Office of the National Steering Committee 389, Trương Hòa Bình, head of the National Steering Committee 389 has issued the “401 Plan” and implemented it nationwide.
According to the latest report, after four months of implementing it, many big oil and gas smuggling cases were detected and the material seized. Notably, the Việt Nam Coast Guard captured two vessels illegally transporting oil and gas from foreign countries to Việt Nam. The amount of oil and gas seized was worth more than VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million).
Trade fraud committed by petrol stations has also been a big problem. The steering committee has instructed the Ministry of Finance, particularly the General Department of Taxation, to organise regular as well as random inspections of petrol stations and punish those found committing any kind of fraud. — VNS