INCREASING FINE LEVELS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS RELATED TO CUSTOMS
On October 19th, 2020, the Government issued Decree 128/2020/ND-CP prescribing the sanctioning of administrative violations in the customs field, with the noteworthy contents regarding the revision of cases that do not violate administrative regulations in the Customs sector, and the increase in certain violations’ fine level.
Compared to Article 5 of Decree 127/2013/ND-CP on sanctioning of administrative violations and enforcement of administrative decisions in the field of Customs and Decree 45/2016/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree 127/2013/ND-CP, there are two cases retained in this new Decree. Five cases which have been removed contained provisions about false declaration, false information and the case of declaring incorrectly but having low value goods.
The particular cases that are not subject to administrative violations in the customs sector are as follows:
“1. The cases are not subject to administrative sanctioning under Article 11 of the Law on handling of administrative violations in 2012.
Goods or means of transport brought into the territory of Vietnam in the case of an unexpected event or force majeure event must be notified to the customs or other competent authorities under the law; such goods and means of transport must be brought out of the territory of Vietnam after the above-mentioned factors are overcome.
2. Cases in which additional declarations of customs dossiers are permitted within the specified time stipulated at Clause 4, Article 29 of the Customs Law shall not be administratively sanctioned.
3. Cases in which customs declarants shall comply with competent agencies' guiding documents and handling decisions in respect of tax obligation determination according to Clause 11, Article 16 of the Law on Tax Administration shall not be administratively sanctioned.
4. Cases in which goods sent into Vietnam are inconsistent with the contract as prescribed in Article 39 of the Commercial Law (except for goods banned from import, temporarily suspended from import, counterfeit goods, and scrap not on the List of permitted import as raw production materials) but has been notified in writing by the consignor, carrier, consignee or legal representative of the consignor, carrier or consignee (clearly stating the clause) enclosed documents related to the Director of the Sub-department of Customs where the goods are stored without registering the customs declaration shall not be administratively sanctioned.”
The new Decree has stricter regulations on tax evasion and administrative violations, together with penalties and remedial measures.
Clause 1, Article 14 of the Decree details tax evasion acts, which is a coherent ground for competent authorities to apply. These acts, if not examined for penal liability, shall be fined 1 to 3 times of the amount of tax evasion depending on the aggravating and mitigating circumstances. In the previous regulations, legal entity’s fine rate must not exceed 3 times, meanwhile personal entity’s one must not exceed 1.5 times the amount of tax evasion. However, a general fine is applicable in the new Decree.
Those violations in terms of temporary import for re-export, temporary export and re-import of goods, the fine levels have been significantly corrected in order to ensure the strictness and deterrence of the law. Specifically:
- Acts of not licensing temporary import for re-export of goods requiring a license for temporary import for re-export can be penalized from 10,000,000 VND to 20,000,000 VND (previously the fine was from 5,000,000 VND to 10,000,000 VND)
- Acts of temporary import for re-export of goods prohibited or suspended from export or import and acts of temporary export or re-import of goods banned or suspended from export or import without licenses for temporary export or re-import can be fined level from 20,000,000 VND to 40,000,000 VND.
- The act of trading in temporary import for export of goods but failing to meet the conditions on the list business of conditional temporary import for re-export can be fined from VND 40,000,000 to VND 50,000,000.
- For acts of trading without licensing in temporary import for re-export of goods requiring a license, the fine level will be from VND 50,000,000 to VND 60,000,000
- For acts of trading in temporary import for re-export of goods requiring a license but falling to get a license, exhibits of violation are goods banned or suspended from export or import, goods not yet permitted for circulation in Vietnam, the fine will be from 60,000,000 VND to 80,000,000 VND.
- For acts of trading in temporary import for re-export of goods on the list of banned or suspended trading in temporary import for re-export, the fine level was previously from VND 60,000,000 to VND 80,000,000. However new regulations have raised the fine level from 80,000,000 VND to 100,000,000 VND.
In addition, there are hardly any changes compared to the content of Decree 127/2013/ND-CP and Decree 45/2016 / ND-CP.
Decree 128/2020/ND-CP takes effect from the 10nd of December, 2020.
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