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Kaohsiung Customs Seizes 15,600 Kilograms of Undeclared Tobacco

After seizing a transshipment container of smuggled cigarettes in June, Kaohsiung Customs managed to seize another container of concealed tobacco on July 10, 2017. An estimation indicated that the smuggled goods, with a total weight of 15,600 kilograms, were more than enough to be processed into 1.2 million packs of cigarettes, evading about NT$62 million of tobacco tax and health and welfare surcharge. 

As the new regulations governing tobacco tax have taken effect since June 12, 2017, increasing tobacco tax payable by NT$20 per pack, the incentive for smuggling tobacco products has become stronger accordingly. In order to deter possible smuggling attempts, Kaohsiung Customs officers followed the risk management procedures and targeted a container shipped from Cat Lai Port, Vietnam. Originally scheduled to be transshipped to Manila North Port, the Philippines, this container of goods was declared as Bag Fabrics. Upon inspection, the whole container was found to be filled with tobacco, which was not in conformity with the information entered in the import declaration form. Afterwards, these smuggled goods were identified as “tobacco blend” by a competent authority. All of the smuggled tobacco was detained as detailed by Customs Anti-smuggling Act and The Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act before being transferred to a prosecuting agency for further legal actions. 

Kaohsiung Customs indicated that the traffickers were tempted to take advantage of the increase in tobacco tax, intent on smuggling tobacco with unknown constituents into the country. The tobacco would then be processed into inferior quality cigarettes at illegal factories for sale, bringing about a windfall for the traffickers. Confronting contrabandists with variant ways of smuggling, the Customs authority will spare no effort in performing its duties so as to protect human health and ensure tax revenue for the country. The public is encouraged to report any suspected smuggling activities to the Customs by calling the toll-free number: 0800-711117.

2017-07-19 Ministry of Finance News

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