Business and individuals in Vietnam used to import a large number of crypto mining rigs into the country. Last year, the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) cleared more than 7,000 bitcoin and litecoin miners. Meanwhile, the Customs Department of Hanoi imported 190 bitcoin miners and 350 litecoin miners, Vietnam Biz reported Wednesday.
According to the HCMC Customs Department, businesses and individuals imported 3,664 crypto miners from the beginning of this year to August 6, most of which were Antminers from China. The news outlet reiterated:
According to information from the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City, from early July 2018 to now, organizations and individuals have stopped importing mining rigs.
According to the publication, four enterprises imported more than 3,000 machines this year; the rest were imported by “individuals and organizations [that] do not have [a dedicated] import tax code.” Viet Nam News added that “according to data from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam imported about 15,600 mining machines from 2017 to April this year.”
Mining Rig Import Ban Looming
The lack of crypto mining rig imports follows the proposal by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade “to suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining machines in a move to improve the management of currency transactions in the country,” the publication detailed.
The ministry has gained support from a few other government agencies and the country’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).
The ban was proposed because the country’s finance ministry became concerned that crypto mining rigs are “not on the list of goods banned from importation and are not subject to the list of specialised management or unsafe goods, so enterprises are easily allowed to complete the import procedures,” the publication explained, noting:
The use of mining equipment for bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country is difficult for the authorities to manage. Thus it is easy for people to use cryptocurrencies as a currency or another method of payment, which is illegal in Vietnam according to the amended Decree 101 on non-cash payments.
In April, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a directive calling for stronger measures for cryptocurrencies. Xinhua described that “under the directive, credit institutions in Vietnam are not allowed to carry out cryptocurrency-related transactions and must swiftly report any suspicious activities.”