Ho Chin Minh City has plans to step up enforcement against smuggling and trade fraud in light of the increasing number of violations at its various ports, especially the Cat Lai Port.
The Cat Lai Port is Vietnam's largest international container port and since early 2015, the Customs Department has detected nearly 500 cases of smuggling and trade fraud occuring in the area. However, according to the Customs Control Division of the City's Customs Department, the number of actual violations are much higher than reported. Part of this comes from a system loophole in the e-customs declarations form which categorises goods into red, yellow and green categories with:
- Red: Requiring Inspection by a customs officer
- Yellow: Requiring no inspection and only a document check.
- Green: Inspection and document checking exemption.
As this system is based around a company's history rather than an overarching system that inspects all imported goods, this creates a massive blind spot for smuggling and corruption to occur.
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