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Keelung Customs Busts a Large Shipment of Smuggled Cigarettes During the Lunar New Year Holidays

42613255371.jpgKeelung Customs successfully intercepted a container load of smuggled cigarettes at the Customs’ West Non-intrusive Inspection Station on the morning of February 3, 2014, when most officers were on their succeeding Lunar New Year Holidays. Consisting of 52,500 cartons in 1,050 packages, this smuggled shipment was packed in a 40-foot container and imported by a trading company in Taoyuan City, which was declared as garments in 398 cartons from Hong Kong.

Transported by S.S. “YM MOVEMENT,” the container arrived at the Port of Keelung on the Chinese New Year Eve on January 29, but it wasn’t unloaded from the ship until February 2 due to the national holidays.

Keelung Customs indicated that smuggling activities are usually at their peak around Lunar New Year Holidays. To prevent smuggling syndicates from taking advantage of the succeeding holidays in the hope that Customs officers may be lax in their enforcement, the Customs always stepped up its anti-smuggling efforts during this time of year. Applying risk management techniques, the Customs’ sagacious officers singled out this container and three others for non-intrusive inspection among the 147 containers carried by the ship. Due to the fact that the seal was not properly affixed to the door and that the scanned images of the container shown on the monitor of the Customs’ large-scale X-ray machine were dubious, the officers on duty thus decided to proceed with a secondary inspection. They opened the door only to find a container load of foreign cigarettes with a total market value of about NT$20 million (US$700,000).

Keelung Customs further said that imported cigarettes are subject to 27 percent of import duty and 5 percent of Value Added Tax (VAT), in addition to NT$20 (US$0.7) of Health and Welfare Surcharge per pack. In other words, the total taxes and surcharge on each pack of imported cigarettes add up to NT$36.7 (US$1.2). That said, smuggling foreign cigarettes into Taiwan is always a lucrative business. However, to safeguard Taiwan nationals’ health and maintain the normal flow of international trade, the Customs has spared no efforts to fight against cigarette smuggling persistently.


News Contact: Mr. Hsu
Tel: 02-24202951ext1101

  • Publish Date:2014-02-06
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