How are penalties for trade in contraband goods in Vietnam?

In fact, the act of smuggling goods is very common, mainly taking advantage of loopholes in the customs inspection process. This is the act of importing goods through the border gate against the provisions of Vietnam’s law. So, how are penalties for trade in contraband goods in Vietnam?

Kinh doanh hàng hóa nhập lậu bị xử phạt như thế nào?, Nghị định 98/2020/NĐ-CP

According to Article 15 of Decree No. 98/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, the following fines shall be imposed for trading in contraband goods:

- A fine ranging from VND 500.000 to VND 1.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is less than VND 3.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 1.000.000 to VND 2.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 3.000.000 to under VND 5.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 2.000.000 to VND 4.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 5.000.000 to under VND 10.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 4.000.000 to VND 6.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 10.000.000 to under VND 20.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 6.000.000 to VND 10.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 20.000.000 to under VND 30.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 10.000.000 to VND 20.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 30.000.000 to under VND 50.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 20.000.000 to VND 30.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 50.000.000 to under VND 70.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 30.000.000 to VND 40.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is worth from VND 70.000.000 to under VND 100.000.000;

- A fine ranging from VND 40.000.000 to VND 50.000.000 shall be imposed if the value of contraband goods is VND 100.000.000 or more.

The fine that is twice as much as the corresponding fine for trading in contraband goods prescribed above shall be imposed in the following cases:

- The violating entity directly involves the illegal import of goods worth less than VND 100.000.000 or VND 100.000.000 or more, if not liable to criminal prosecution;

- The contraband goods are included in the list of goods banned from import or the list of goods temporarily suspended from import;

- The contraband goods are foods, food additives, food processing aids, food preservatives, preventive drugs, drugs, medicinal ingredients, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals, insecticidal and microbicidal preparations for household and medical use, aqua environmental remediation products, livestock waste treatment products, veterinary drugs, fertilizers, cement, animal feeds, pesticides, growth stimulants,  plant varieties or animal breeds.

The fines prescribed above shall be also imposed for:

- deliberately transporting contraband goods;

- deliberately storing contraband goods; or

- deliberately delivering contraband goods.

Besides, the violating entity shall also be applied with additional penalties as follows:

- The exhibits of the violations prescribed above shall be confiscated;

- The means of transport used for committing the violations prescribed above shall be confiscated if the value of exhibits is VND 200.000.000 or more or the violation is repeated or re-committed.

Concurrently, remedial measures are as follows:

- The goods and articles that cause harm to human health, domestic animals, plants and environment, indecent materials, and unsafe goods shall be destroyed;

- The violating entity is compelled to return any benefits illegally obtained from one of the violations.

Thus, fines imposed for trading in contraband goods shall be up to VND 100.000.000. The determination of the fine level will be based on each specific case based on the value of smuggled goods traded. In addition to the fine level, the violating entity is also subject to additional sanctions, forced to take remedial measures if they fall into the cases specified in Decree No. 98/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government.

Thuy Tram

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