Last update 6/12/2011 2:00:00 PM (GMT+7)

Raw titanium “bleeding” causes millions dollars in loss

VietNamNet Bridge – The license to exploit titanium has been described as the “screen” for illegal titanium exports, while the loosened management is the “passport” for titanium to cross the border gates.

An official of the Binh Dinh provincial Department for Natural Resources and the Environment, said that every year, 25,000 tons of raw titanium is exported illegally, which means that the state budget fails to collect three million dollars in export tax.

The path of illegal raw titanium exports

While the Government prohibits to export raw minerals, government agencies in Binh Dinh province, one of the localities which have the highest titanium exploitation output in the country, have admitted that the majority of raw titanium exploited in the province have been illegally exported to foreign countries, mostly to China.

Nguyen Kim Phuong, Director of the Binh Dinh provincial Industry and Trade Department, said the illegal raw titanium export has been going in a large scale, while local authorities cannot control the situation.

According to Phuong, it is simple to illegally export raw titanium. The enterprises which have licenses to exploit titanium join forces with many “bogus companies” in other provinces--mostly in the north, in order to bring raw titanium out of Binh Dinh province. After legalizing the procedures on trade, domestic transportation, the ships carrying raw titanium will easily cross the border to China.

Some months ago, when verifying the raw titanium trade of an enterprise, agencies discovered that the director of the enterprise was a woman, who earned her living as a cigarette seller. The woman said that an enterprise hired her to act as a director who signs the contracts on selling raw titanium.

A source said that most of the titanium exploited illegally now in Binh Dinh province can also be legalized with the “red invoices” of the enterprises which have the function of trading titanium. After that, titanium is collected and carried to the ports in Quy Nhon, from which titanium will be carried to China. Titanium dealers join forces with titanium exploitation companies, or purchase the invoices from the enterprises to turn illegal titanium into legal titanium to be able to safely leave the port.

A director of a shipping firm has revealed that in the last two months, his company got nearly ten contracts on carrying titanium.

The fat profits, plus the simple procedures both have prompted many enterprises, which previously traded sliced cassava to shift to trade coal.

Loosened management behind the easy illegal export

Nguyen Kim Phuong admitted that too many problems have existed in the management over the exploitation and trade of titanium, and that the slack management is the key behind the increasing titanium smuggling.

According to Ho Lien Nam from Quy Nhon Port, under the current regulations, raw titanium is the product for domestic trade only, therefore, there are only two agencies which take management over the trade – ports and port authorities.

At the port, goods owners just need to show the contracts on trading titanium and the contracts on domestic transportation in order to carry goods to the ships. After that, only goods owners know where the ships go to.

In order to prevent raw mineral export, the government has released many regulations on the issue. As for titanium, the Binh Dinh’s authorities have also set up concrete regulations to control the goods going through ports. Ships carrying titanium must show five kinds of documents to be able to leave ports.

However, Nam said: “The ports do not have the power to force goods owners to present all kinds of the documents, even though when the police requests”.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Trung Thanh, Deputy Director of the Binh Dinh Department for Natural Resources and the Environment, admitted that the department only has the figures about the annual output reported by enterprises. However, the actual exploited volume and the reported volume prove to be too different.

Source: SGTT