March 16, 2017

Lao authorities impound over 5,000 illegally imported vehicles

By:  Vientiane Times, January 26, 2017

The Customs Department under the Lao Ministry of Finance has reported that they impounded more than 5,000 illegally imported vehicles in the fiscal year of 2015-2016.

Acting Director General of the Customs Department, Bounpaseuth Sikounlabout, told a customs meeting in Vientiane recently that vehicle and goods smuggling has become a problem for the customs sector.

“In order to achieve revenue collection according to the plan, we have to pay attention to address the problem,” he stressed.

In 2015-2016, the customs sector set a plan to collect revenue of 2,426 billion kip nationwide but in practice they were able to collect revenue of 1,828 billion kip, accounting for 75.34 per cent of the plan.

The number of imported vehicles reduced by 45.67 per cent or a total of about 37,710 vehicles, it was reported.

However, vehicle imports across the country seemed to be illegal as most of the vehicle owners have only notified of the registration of imported vehicles but they didn’t come to pay customs in line with regulations, resulting in the customs sector being unable to collect revenue as planned, Bounpaseuth said.

Last year, more than 5,000 vehicles were illegally imported. These vehicles would have generated revenue of 66 billion kip for the government, he added.

This year, the department will increase its efforts in preventing and combatting illegal smuggling activities and continue to solve issues surrounding the more than 5,000 illegal imported vehicles.

Some of these vehicles were actually destined for ministries, government departments and individuals, but were imported to Laos by vehicle import companies, which failed to follow proper procedures.

In addition, the department will also solve the issue of 143 vehicles at Thanalaeng customs checkpoint. It is expected that if properly imported, these vehicles would have generated revenue of 13.9 billion kip for the government, he said.

Authorities have called on the public to comply with the Customs Department’s regulations regarding vehicle imports. Interested car buyers should connect with local companies if they want to import a vehicle.

Laos, China launch plant inspection and quarantine

Laos will benefit from a new plant inspection and quarantine development project, with a feasibility study to look into improving the protection of agriculture and forestry production in border areas.

An agreement to implement the project was signed on Friday in Vientiane between the director general of the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Vilaysouk Khenanavong and the chief representative of China CAMC Engineering Co in Laos, Wei Baoping.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony was attended by the vice head of the Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Boun-Ai Nounounnavong and a Chinese Embassy representative, Wang Qihui.

The project will run for 18 months, period (2017-2018) supported by the Chinese government, and focus on protecting agriculture and forestry production, as well as promoting foreign trade development to create more social, economic and ecological benefits for Laos, officials said.

At the agreement signing, last week Vilaysouk said the MoU would initiate a feasibility study to determine the needs for the project along with the capacity building requirements at international borders and the central laboratory in Vientiane.

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