Vietnam BMW importer faces fines for faking documents, evading tax

By Anh Tu   August 23, 2018 | 10:00 pm PT
Vietnam BMW importer faces fines for faking documents, evading tax
Euro Auto provided fake documents for 133 BMW cars imported to Vietnam in December 2016. Photo by Reuters
Vietnam’s Finance Ministry has accused the sole importer of BMW cars of several violations, but won’t press criminal charges.

The trader, Euro Auto, which was Vietnam’s sole official distributor of BMW cars until this year, created fake invoices and packing lists for 133 BMW cars in December 2016, the ministry said in a letter recently sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

It plans to fine the firm VND40-80 million ($1,700-3,400) for this fraud.

Euro Auto “did not list or listed incorrectly” VND105 million ($4,500) in expenses incurred in importing the cars, which resulted in a tax loss of about VND180 million ($7,700), the ministry said.

It said it plans to fine Euro Auto 20 percent of the tax loss, apart from collecting the back taxes.

The ministry will allow the cars, which are at the Vietnam International Container Terminal port in HCMC, to be returned to Germany, if it requests. It will also refund taxes paid if the cars are returned.

If Euro Auto still wants to import these cars into Vietnam, the PM should take a final decision on this issue because current laws don't deal with such a situation, the ministry said.

It also said it plans to fine Euro Auto chairman Simon Adrew Rock for evading special consumption tax.

From July 2016 to March 2017, Euro Auto evaded VND7.3 billion ($312,700) in taxes by listing wrong information about its imports.

Although the HCMC Tax Department issued a warning and fined the firm in September 2016, it persisted with the practice.

The company even produced fake invoices to legalize the purchase of auto parts for the BMW cars from the open market instead of authorized agencies.

The letter noted that PM Phuc had decided not to criminally punish Simon Adrew Rock and other individuals involved in tax evasion in the spirit of maintaining good relations between Vietnam and Germany, Malaysia and the U.K., where these cars have been imported.

In late November 2016, the Ministry of Finance ordered customs agencies to suspend clearance procedures for imported BMW cars in order to investigate alleged violations by Euro Auto.

Ministry officials found that the importer had falsified purchase contracts and receipts while importing the cars and failed to provide certificates of origin and other required documents.

Euro Auto rejected these allegations.

In April last year, HCMC police arrested Euro Auto CEO Nguyen Dang Thao and two delivery employees for faking import documents.

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