How CORRUPT are Customs Officials in China?
Posted in the China Forum
Port Moody, Canada
#1 Apr 30, 2013
According to Transparency Internationals Global Corruption Barometer 2010/2011, a significant number of the surveyed households who had contact with the customs administration in the past 12 months report to have paid a bribe.
Global Integrity 2011 reports that customs and excise laws are not always enforced uniformly or without discrimination and some companies may try to avoid customs laws. According to the report, evading customs and excise laws through bribery is still likely to take place. Moreover, companies should be aware that the border administration, in relation to irregular payments in exports and imports, is not always transparent, as illustrated in the World Economic Forum Global Enabling Trade Report 2012.
Port Moody, Canada
#2 Apr 30, 2013
According to a 2009 news article by Sohu, the former head of the Xishuangbana Customs department was sentenced to 16 years in prison for accepting more than CNY 700,000 in bribes from different companies, in return for allowing them to smuggle more than 1,000 tons of natural rubber into the country, causing a huge loss to the government. Read about the case details here (in Chinese).
According to a March 2012 Xinhua News, in 2011, the General Administration of Customs solved more than 1,700 smuggling-related crimes, and managed to uncover more than USD 3.45 billion worth of smuggled goods. In an effort to combat smuggling activities and to crack down on dangerous and long-existing smuggling rings, a campaign named 'Shield to the Country's Doors' ran throughout 2012.
Lai Changxing, a high profile smuggler once considered China's most wanted fugitive, was sentenced to life in prison in May 2012, after being found guilty of smuggling USD 4.35 billion worth of goods in the 1990s and bribing government officials USD millions in order to facilitate the smuggling activities. According to a 2012 Financial Times article, the crackdown on Lai's smuggling ring started over a decade ago and the scandal implicated 64 government officials including senior officials such as the deputy head of an anti-smuggling taskforce. Lai was repatriated to China from Canada to face his trial in July 2011.
The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2013:
- For a standardised export shipment, 8 documents are needed, and the process takes an average of 21 days at an average cost of USD 580 per container.
- For a standardised import shipment, 5 documents are needed, and the process takes an average of 24 days at an average cost of USD 615 per container.
World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013:
- Business executives give the efficiency of customs procedures (formalities regulating the entry and exit of merchandise) in China a score of 4.2 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'extremely efficient').
World Economic Forum: The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012:
- Business executives give the transparency of border administration (pervasiveness of undocumented extra payments or bribes connected with imports and exports) in China a score of 4.42 on a 7-point scale (1 'non-transparent' and 7 'transparent').
Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2010/2011:
- 28% of households who had contact with the customs administration in the past 12 months report to have paid a bribe.
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