HCMC drastically fights against smuggling, trade fraud

smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeit goods, HCMC Steering Committee 389, HCMC Market Surveillance Agency HCMC Customs check imported goods. (Photo: SGGP)
Violations have reduced but trickeries are increasingly sophisticated

According to HCMC Steering Committee 389, the number of cases decreased due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the inspection and control have focused on conspicuous areas, warehouses, yards, and gathering points with large quantity and value of goods, contributing to improving the effectiveness of the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods in the city.

The market inspection and control are still limited. According to the HCMC Steering Committee 389, the city has a fast economic growth rate, production and business activities are more and more developed while the management of local authorities has not kept up with changes of sellers, commodity groups, and key areas to promptly inspect and handle. Trade fraud and counterfeiting are increasingly sophisticated and complex, with new fraudulent tricks having emerged. Even food products are counterfeited.

The representative of the Market Surveillance Agency of HCMC is concerned that recently, the e-commerce sector in HCMC has developed strongly, any goods can be bought and sold online, but this agency has not found any effective measure to manage and supervise. Meanwhile, the number of consumer complaints about the situation in which customers had paid but they never received goods; goods are not as advertised; goods are fake or of poor quality, is on the increase.

Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC, said that when detecting a violation, the handling process is very complicated due to the lack of smooth and synchronous coordination between agencies. Therefore, to effectively combat smuggling and trade fraud, it is necessary to review the operating mechanism, management, the process of inspection, detection, and handling of violations.

Building the handling process of exhibits

Director of Market Surveillance Agency of HCMC Truong Van Ba, Deputy Director of HCMC Steering Committee 389, said that in 2021, the committee would continue to promote the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud, and counterfeit goods in the new situation. This task is determined to be an important and regular task to direct drastically, closely with a focus on the assigned tasks. It will also strengthen the propaganda and mobilization of the people, coordinate with news agencies, radio stations, mass organizations, and socio-professional organizations to participate in the fight and not to abet smugglers and commercial fraudsters.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Phan Thi Thang highly appreciated the efforts of functional authorities in the work of uncovering many smuggling and counterfeiting rings and networks, contributing to stabilizing and developing the market, at the same time ensuring the legal and legitimate interests of producers, traders, and consumers.

The Covid-19 pandemic still develops complicatedly and prolongs, which will pose a great danger and challenge to the socio-economic development, national security, and the life of the people. Therefore, Ms. Thang said that the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods need more specific, practical, and drastic solutions and tasks. The leaders must take responsibility if serious, complicated, and protracted violations happen in their areas or fields, or there are corrupt officials or civil servants in public service activities. Units will continue to carry out and organize the effective implementation of plans in the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods in 2021.

Regarding the difficulties and problems of departments, sectors in particular, and the HCMC Steering Committee 389 in general, Ms. Phan Thi Thang asked the committee to summarize them, especially overlapped, inconsistent, and asynchronous issues of legal documents that have been promulgated by ministries and agencies. Based on this, the municipal People's Committee will propose measures to remove them, preventing these subjects from taking advantage of legal loopholes to operate illegally. The city will also study to promulgate regulations and procedures for coordination among units in the process of inspecting and handling violations if necessary.

Ms. Phan Thi Thang entrusted the HCMC Steering Committee 389 and the Department of Finance to make plans to arrange more warehouses and have solutions for fast, accurate, and effective handling of exhibits. In the long run, the relevant agencies need to sit together to draft guides on the process of handling exhibits, with specific regulations on handling time to quickly release the inventory to avoid congestion, facilitating functional authorities to carry out their tasks effectively.

The report of the HCMC Steering Committee 389 shows that in 2020, departments and functional authorities of the city uncovered and handled 25,538 cases, down 45.39 percent compared to 2019. In which, violations on banned goods and smuggled goods were 2,769 cases, down 30.3 percent; commercial frauds were 21,804 cases, down 47.65 percent; counterfeit goods were 965 cases, down 15.5 percent. The total State budget revenue from those violations was nearly VND5.44 trillion.

By Thuy Hai – Translated by Bao Nghi

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