Customs to tighten controls over scrap imports

15:40 | 01/09/2018 Society

(VEN) - Leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) told Vietnam Economic News reporters that GDVC will submit a proposal for the Government to restrict imports of scrap materials and move towards a ban on scrap imports to Vietnam.

customs to tighten controls over scrap imports

According to Au Anh Tuan, acting director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department, after China banned the import of 24 types of scrap, the amount imported to Vietnam in 2017 and the first five months of 2018 had surged. Additionally, some enterprises had forged scrap import permits. Customs agents would check tens of thousands of containers of imported scrap lying at seaports to determine whether they were legally imported.

Customs clearance procedures for these containers of imported scrap have not been implemented as they do not meet environmental protection requirements. By July 25, 3,579 such containers were lying at the Cat Lai Seaport, of which 594 containers had been lying there for 30-90 days, 2,423 for more than 90 days. By July 5, 1,485 such containers were lying at the Hai Phong Seaport, including 1,342 containers of plastic scrap.

The complexity and inconsistency of legal documents make it difficult to deal with imported scrap. Existing regulations require businesses to seek certifications from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or Departments of Natural Resources and Environment when importing scrap for use in production, but do not require them to submit these certifications to customs officials. This loophole enables businesses to commit fraud.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment recently provided customs offices with a list of 228 companies that received certifications from 2016 to April 2018. However, customs offices are not updated on the list of companies that received certifications granted by the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment.

According to Mai Xuan Thanh, Deputy Head of the GDVC, to protect the environment and prevent Vietnam from becoming a garbage dump of the world, the GDVC had sent official letters to local customs departments providing them with guidance on tightening controls over scrap imports. The GDVC is conducting inspections to find and deal with violations, focusing on counterfeit certifications.

The GDVC will inform seaport businesses that they have the right to ban ships carrying wastes and require them to get out of Vietnamese territory.

At the same time, customs offices will require polluting scrap at seaports to be taken out of Vietnam.

After nearly three months of inspection, customs officials found that from July 21, 2017 to November 22, 2017, the

Duc Dat Import, Export Services Co., Ltd used counterfeit papers to import more than VND35.5 billion worth of scrap.

Hoang Chau