Cigarette Smuggling: will mobilize the full strength

Revenue loss over 8000 billion

Minister Vu Huy Hoang and Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai presided over the Conference
Report on the results of the fight against cigarette smuggling in 2014, Nguyen Trong Tin, Deputy Director of Market Management, said: The situation of smuggling, transporting, selling smuggled cigarettes still goes on complex in many key areas. In borderline Vietnam – Cambodia, the force boost function checks on roads, the object of smuggling, trafficking, transporting smuggled cigarettes to redirect activity on the waterway or channel canals using motorboats running at high speed. Border of Vietnam – Laos, mostly smuggled cigarettes through Se Pol river with a length of over 10 km with 17 piers with transport activities regrouped smuggled goods, including wharf with 05 operations transferred illegally imported tobacco. Then shippers subdivide and rent porters carrying baskets through the forest trail in the backstage area two control stations B Gate Economic Zone Lao Bao Special Trade and then into the inland consumption.

Mr. Nguyen Trong Tin, Deputy Director of Market Management
Meanwhile in Vietnam border – China, the object of smuggling geographical advantage waters of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong using speedboats transporting foreign cigarettes were exported to China and gave Tra back area, Binh Ngoc commune, Mong Cai City and then split, the use of means of inland transport. Also the objects also take advantage of VAT policy toward Vietnam’s cigarette exports, then sought smuggled into Vietnam for consumption. In the domestic market, smuggled cigarettes but no longer sold openly as before but still objects surreptitiously sold in restaurants, hotels, bars, discos … or small business sites, retail, grocery stores, kiosks on pavements or water retails at non-fixed locations scattered in the streets, the districts. Mainly smuggled cigarettes hidden in different locations or are hiding, storing in the housing and is transported down to business locations in small quantities, sold out again taken to be the amount of smuggled cigarettes collection hold at the store, the business is not much point.

Mr. Vu Van Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Tobacco Association
According to Vu Van Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Tobacco Association, 2014 was extremely difficult year for Vietnam tobacco industry. Due to the impact of health warnings with images 50%, total industry sales volume fell by more than 20%; many products, label drug significantly reduced by 30-40%. Just making health warnings with images has great influence to the employment and living conditions of workers in the sector; State budget payments also fell over 10%, equivalent to nearly 2000 billion.
According to the analysis results of the Institute of Economic Technical Tobacco contraband tobacco is in a prohibited use of toxins, and levels of Tar, Nicotine exceeded allowable lot. The two types most smuggled cigarettes is now JET and HERO Tar content is 19-20g / cigarette, nicotine is 1.9 mg / cigarette.
While tobacco production in the country fell by strict control measures, it does not reduce tobacco consumption. Instead, the amount of smuggled cigarettes increased sharply in both quantity and types and locations. The number of smuggled cigarettes was 21.9 billion cigarettes in 2013, accounting for 20.7% market share; 2014, according to a survey by the prestigious organization, contraband tobacco has increased 30-40%. 2013, smuggled cigarettes, causing losses to the State budget ((budget) 6.500 billion. In 2014, the state budget may be more than 8,000 trillion revenue loss. According to Oxford Economics report in 2014, Vietnam has become the market contraband tobacco consumption among the top 14 Asian countries surveyed (including Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Laos, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei ).
According to his analysis Vu Van Cuong, cigarette smuggling are highly profitable revenue, just behind drug trafficking. Stringent regulatory environment for domestic tobacco industry is accidentally indirectly facilitating smuggled cigarettes rapid development; a competitive environment are not equal, sector-specific groundwater here is smuggling, tobacco tax evasion thrive. Cigarette smuggling for tax evasion (65% excise tax, 10% VAT, import duty of 135%,) should be able to sell much cheaper than domestically produced tobacco (same category, same segment). Contraband tobacco tax evasion, cheap and non-print health warnings, not the fund set aside for tobacco harm prevention should be consumer use rather than decrease.
Results not meet expectations

Before this situation, market management forces have intensified propaganda activities, inspection and control, contributing to improve the efficiency of prevention of and fight against cigarette smuggling. Specifically, in 2014 the market management force has deployed 1,496 nationwide round of propaganda on the mass media, central and local; advocacy organizations, common law for 33 314 organizations and individual business operations through control checks; organization committed to 20 669 registered business establishments tobacco products. Market Management Department in collaboration with the Vietnam Tobacco Association Steering 17 Market Management Sub provincial city south region program implementation propaganda against trade, transport, import tobacco business gonorrhea, 10,000 posters were pasted A3 and A4 size sheets at 100,000 places of business, public places and public gathering places.
To implement the directive of the Government, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, State Administration of market, market management forces in the country to conduct inspections in order to prevent the peak selling, transporting and trading of smuggled cigarettes . In particular, the province to strengthen management, check the organizations and individuals trading cigarettes, collecting points and storage of cigarettes in order to understand the situation changes for the better implementation of the examination and treatment breaches of the tobacco business. The result, tested on 13 367 plays, handled 8905 cases, the total amount of administrative penalties on 25 billion, about 2 million bags confiscated tobacco types, seized 12 cars, 716 motorcycles, 08 boats, motorboats and transfer various kinds of police authorities to prosecute 32 cases.
Implementation of Directive No. 30 / CT-TTg dated 09/30/2014 of the Prime Minister on strengthening the fight against cigarette smuggling, Market Management Department with written guidance Branch Manager Market of Quang Tri province, Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, the northern border provinces and neighboring provinces to direct the market management forces in coordination with the police forces , Customs, Border Guard strictly control the border area, the route from the border to the inland areas adjacent inter-district and inter-provincial. In inland, in areas large tobacco consumption steer market management forces inspecting businesses, small business, storage sites, cigarette trafficking. Lead and coordinate with force planning function checks in collaboration with focal points, synchronized in time in order to create synergy in preventing cigarette smuggling activities related to many localities. Since the implementation of Directive No. 30 / CT-TTg of the Prime Minister and the leadership of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, market management forces nationwide examined 4,756 cases (34% compared with the number of checks in 2014), handled 4192 cases (47% compared with the year 2014), 873 399 pack of cigarettes seized kinds (accounting for 43.67% compared with the year 2014), the administrative sanction than 10.2 billion copper (41% compared with the year 2014).

However, the prevention of cigarette smuggling is still facing many difficulties and problems. The object of smuggling, transporting, storing and selling smuggled cigarettes operate with increasingly sophisticated tricks, more closely, using the means of modern communication, forming line with the tight coupling between objects in water and subjects abroad; willing to try anything, resist functional forces or hinder pursuit of functional forces; organize, provoke, entice people to hand hinder functional forces on duty in order to rob the restaurant, causing difficulties for the fight to prevent the transportation and sale of smuggled cigarettes.
Tobacco production in the country is produced according to quality standards, levels of tar, nicotine restricted quality standards or if there is domestic production is high cost due to pay taxes, while the Smoking not changed the taste; profits from the smuggling, trafficking, transporting smuggled cigarettes very large; life of border residents are poor. The coordination between the forces function in exchanging information, organizing inspection and handling violations not actively, in close, frequent and timely, there were local.
The functional forces thin, lack of funding, facilities, expertise uneven while the methods and tricks of the objects of smuggling, transporting and selling of smuggled goods increasingly sophisticated and uses modern media, making it difficult for the inspection and control; funds for private purchase, the organization test, seized smuggled cigarettes are still difficulties should result has not been as expected.
Will mobilize the full strength
Discuss solutions to improve the efficiency of the fight against smuggling, trafficking, transporting smuggled cigarettes in the future, said Nguyen Trong Tin, Deputy Director of Market Management, said that the market management force the school must continue to strictly implement the Directive No. 30 / CT-TTg of the Prime Minister on strengthening the fight against cigarette smuggling and strictly implement the guidance of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, identified tobacco is present key row of the inspection and control against smuggling, trafficking, transporting smuggled goods business in 2015 and subsequent years. Coordinate the news agencies, the press propaganda, warning people of the risks to consumer health from tobacco unknown origin, smuggled cigarettes. Organize and mobilize public servants and employees in the units to strictly implement the Law on Tobacco Prevention, not using smuggled cigarettes and tobacco smoking in public places. For organizations and individuals trading in non-signatory, business, trade, stockpiling smuggled cigarettes, market management forces to conduct inspection and strictly handle violations to the signed to be effective, not tokenistic. Strengthen the management of the area, managed domestic market, building a network of local information for the initiative in organizing the inspection and control to prevent smuggling, trafficking, transporting imported cigarettes Hot Pot. Regularly check the points trafficking, smuggled cigarettes retail for timely detection and treatment organizations and individuals have violated.
To implement these measures, Nguyen Trong Tin forward recommendations to the Government funding, equipment and vehicles, payroll direct forces inspect and control against smuggling, counterfeiting and space commercial fraud in general and in particular tobacco products in order to improve the efficiency of the fight against smuggling, transporting, storing and selling smuggled cigarettes. The Ministry of Defense should direct the Border Guard forces increase patrols, control, ending up in the border areas, the trail crossings promptly detect, prevent and handle the object of smuggling and Museum Reserve transportation of smuggled cigarettes. The Finance Ministry should direct the customs inspection force, strictly control the transport of smuggled cigarettes cross the border, the two side wings gate, geographical area of ​​customs control. Ministry of Public Security Police directing economic, economic security, investigation agencies to strengthen the investigation, reconnaissance situations, establishing the specialized court, destroying objects recruiter, line gangs trafficking smuggled cigarettes to prosecute, prosecution under the law. The ministries, branches and localities to continue implementing the guidelines of the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc – Head of the National Steering Committee against smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting (Steering Committee 389). Vietnam Tobacco Association continue to support the forces functionality including market management forces in the work of advocacy organizations and individuals not involved trafficking, transporting, stockpiling cigarettes smuggling; support market management forces in the inspection control against smuggling, trafficking, transporting, storing smuggled cigarettes. Bonus and timely encouragement for groups and individuals with outstanding achievements in the fight against smuggling, trafficking, transporting, storing smuggled cigarettes.
Agreeing with the views of leaders of the Market Management Department, Vu Van Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Tobacco Association also proposes, the Ministry of Industry and Trade to urgently perform assigned duties at Point 4b of Directive No. 30 / CT-TTg on “chair and coordinate with relevant agencies to study amendments to Joint Circular No. 36/2012 / TTLT BCT-BCA-BTP-BYT-SPC-VKSNDTC 07/12 / 2012 towards the provisions reducing the number of smuggled cigarette pack as a basis for criminal prosecution. ” At the Joint Circular No. 36, Article 7.2 provisions for criminal prosecution as trade, transport, storage of smuggled tobacco products with the amount from 1,500 bags or more. Therefore, the subjects were divided smuggling and traffic volume for many different transport or storage below the 1,500 bags to avoid criminal prosecution. This sophisticated method of the object smuggling has caused many difficulties for the raids, smuggling prevention of organ function and no serious basis for handling objects smuggling. According to the authorities, in recent years the number of cigarette smuggling cases handled accounts for 0.95% of criminal cases of arrest. Therefore, Vietnam Tobacco Association recommend criminal prosecution for acts of transporting and trading in smuggled cigarettes have between 500 bags or more instead of the current level of 1,500 bags to increase dissuasive.
Vietnam Tobacco Association also proposed MOIT stop the activities of temporary import for re-export foreign tobacco; Government, Ministry of Finance, the Steering Committee 389 allows Vietnam Tobacco Association continued funding mechanism for the force function in the prevention of cigarette smuggling. At the same time, the association also proposed the Prime Minister to allow adjustment reduction schedule Tar, Nicotine in cigarettes and proposed to deduct 50% Fund on Tobacco Prevention for prevention of smuggled cigarettes.

Minister Vu Huy Hoang said directing Conference
Review the results and conclude the meeting, Minister Vu Huy Hoang said, in recent years, the market management force have been many attempts in the monitoring and control to prevent smuggling transporting, storing and selling smuggled cigarettes and achieve certain results. Initially prevented some specialized business hotspots smuggled tobacco products, minimize state sold openly smuggled cigarettes in stores. Market management forces in collaboration with the functional forces (Police, Customs, Border Guard) detected some cases, and seized large quantities of smuggled cigarettes. The inspection control is combined with the propaganda contributed to positive changes in perception and sense of law observance of the business organizations and individuals to limit the transport, storage and trading sales of smuggled cigarettes. In some areas, “hot” on the transportation and consumption of smuggled cigarettes, although the functional forces and local authorities have to direct attention to strengthen inspection and control, but generally results is not commensurate with the functions and tasks assigned, not met the expectations of the Government, the Ministry of Trade and of the people. The organization, coordination between functional forces to dismantle the line, cigarette smuggling gangs is not tight, often repeatedly.

Vice Minister Do Thang Hai awarded certificates of merit to individuals with outstanding achievements in the work
Before the demands of the new situation, to improve the efficiency of the fight against cigarette smuggling, Minister Vu Huy Hoang proposed market management forces should try more, more advanced and professional qualifications moral qualities to fight effectively with the tricks increasingly sophisticated smuggling. Besides, the minister also said, to finish cigarette smuggling, the need to mobilize the full strength of all the ministries and related agencies across the country. Thus, market management forces should actively, actively collaborated with the force function and high determination in the fight against smuggling, trafficking, transporting smuggled cigarettes.