Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has required customs officials to strengthen their role in the fight against smuggling and trade frauds, in the context of increasingly complicated violations in this field.

Phuc, who is head of the National Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities, made the request at a working session with the Vietnam Customs general department in Hanoi on July 21.

He pointed to challenges the customs sector is facing, including the increasing complexity of violation cases, legal loopholes and the degradation of a number of customs officials.

The Deputy PM also stressed the necessity to reform institutions, increase the effectiveness of coordination between relevant ministries, sectors and agencies.

During the working session, members of the steering committee focused on difficulties faced by different sectors and localities and measures to deal with them.

Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Le Ba Trinh said that it is necessary to prevent fake products from entering the country right at border gates, while boosting awareness campaigns on the negative impacts of smuggling on the economy.

In the first half of this year, the customs sector uncovered nearly 9,000 cases involving smuggling, trade frauds and counterfeits, seizing goods worth nearly 170 billion VND (8 million USD).-VNA