The Japanese government is stepping up its efforts to fight gold smuggling. Officials are bracing for an expected rise in the number of cases ahead of a hike in the country’s consumption tax, set to go from 8 percent to 10 percent.
People who bring gold into Japan are required by law to pay the tax to customs officials when they arrive. The amount is based on the value of the gold they’re carrying.
Smugglers don’t report their gold. But when they sell it in Japan, they charge the buyer the consumption tax, so that the full amount of the levy ends up in their pockets.
Japanese officials are worried next year’s tax hike will make smuggling more lucrative and prompt an increase in the number of attempts.
The government says it will ask jewelry dealers to check the identification of sellers and keep copies of their driver’s licenses, passports and other ID.
The officials plan to incorporate the new rule in its tax revisions for fiscal 2019, to be compiled this month.