MoIT makes case for crypto mining

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 08:44

The MoIT has raised concerns that the suspension of imports will affect production and business activities of enterprises using these devices. — Photo

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed not to suspend the imports of cryptocurrency mining machines (HS code 8471.80.90) in order to ensure the production and business activities of enterprises.

The proposal was made in a document on the management of importing automatic data processing machines written by the MoIT and recently submitted to the Prime Minister.

Statistics from the General Department of Viet Nam Customs showed that the country imported more than 27,239 products in 2017 and over 15,117 products of this HS code in the first five months of this year.

According to the MoIT, the scope of the impact will be very large if halting the import of this kind of machine. As it is not possible to identify specifically which items need to be managed, stopping all imports is not in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Foreign Trade Administration on the freedom of import and export and the application of import suspension measures.

Moreover, the machines and equipment used for mining virtual currency are multi-purpose items, with different applications depending on the users. Therefore, the MoIT has raised concerns that the suspension of imports will have a negative impact, affecting production and business activities of enterprises using these devices.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung instructed the MoIT, Ministry of Finance (MoF), and other agencies to examine the entry of cryptomining machines into the country.

The MoF, the State Bank of Viet Nam and Ministry of Public Security agreed to suspend the imports of cryptocurrency mining machines.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, in the market currently, VGA card manufacturers have provided dedicated cards exclusively for the purpose of exploiting digital money. Therefore, these devices also have to be coded as imported goods with the same HS code to manage and suspend imports.

The Ministry of Information and Communications said the mining machines are divided into two types – ASIC and VGA. Advanced ASIC machines are only manufactured for virtual currency purposes, therefore the use of administrative measures to suspend imports is appropriate and feasible. However, VGA machines are assembled like regular personal computers, hence the ministry recommends not implementing import restrictions so as not to affect the manufacturing and business of enterprises.

The MoIT proposed assigning the MoF to study, classify and decide HS codes for the cryptocurrency mining machines as a basis for applying appropriate management measures. The MoIT also proposed the Ministry of Justice and relevant ministries to develop a legal framework for strict management and regulations of penalties for violations related to mining, trading and investing in various kinds of cryptocurrency as well as similar products. — VNS

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