Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh will oversee an urgent investigation into bribes to speed up customs clearance procedures at ports in the northern city of Hai Phong.
Customs officers in Haiphong found to have taken bribes
The request was made following an article published on Lao Dong Newspaper on April 9.
A group of Lao Dong Newspaper reporters played the role of being apprentices at a company in Hai Phong which specializes on rapid customs clearance.
The reporters’ investigation showed that more than 300 companies provide customs services in Hai Phong. Every day they co-ordinate between companies, customs offices and 14 ports to complete procedures.
According to a staff member named Dung who has seven years of experiences in good customs clearance services at Dinh Vu Port, after arriving at a port, goods are often divided into three categories.
Green means goods face no procedure problems. Yellow means procedures need to be revised, while for the red category, goods face procedural problems.
Dung, however, said that bribes still have to be offered on goods in any of these categories.
The result of Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh’s investigation has to be submitted to the government before April 25
At Dinh Vu Port’s customs office, the reporters of Lao Dong Newspaper saw many officers take bribes to clear goods. Money was put into sets of documents before being given to the officers.
Dung said that he always had to pay bribes twice for customs fees and for customs procedures.
The customs fees cost between VND100,000 (USD4.54) and VND200,000 (USD9.09) per container depending on different kinds of goods. While the fees for receiving customs procedures is VND100,000.
According to statistics from the General Customs Department, Hai Phong customs officers receive and deal with around 7,600 customs declaration forms with the colour categories being 60%, 35% and 5% respectively. Each declaration form is for 1-30 containers.
The result of Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh’s investigation has to be submitted to the government before April 25.