Despite Fall in Gold Smuggling, Concerns Remain in Japan

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 5 (Jiji Press)--The amount of gold bullion smuggled into Japan and seized by customs authorities in 2018 is estimated to have fallen by half from the previous year, according to informed sources.

Stronger penalties are believed to have contributed to the plunge.

Customs authorities and the National Tax Agency have stepped up oversight, however, as the number of smuggling cases remained high and the consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct planned for October 2019 is expected to boost profit margins for smugglers.

People who import gold must pay the consumption tax at customs. If gold bullion is procured in overseas locations without the consumption tax, such as Hong Kong, smuggled into Japan with no tax payments, and then sold in the country at prices including the tax, the difference can be pocketed as profit by smugglers.

As trading houses that export gold by legitimate distribution routes receive consumption tax refunds, amounts equivalent to the tax end up flowing out of state coffers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press