Amending procedures on means of transport to satisfy Customs Digital

VCN - Building a Digital Customs and a Smart Customs model is the key orientation of the Customs sector currently. This orientation is also associated with the policy revision process to create a legal basis. One of the revised contents to meet this goal is customs procedures for ships entering, transiting, transferring ports and managing means of transport by road and inland waterway.
Professional activities of customs officers at Hai Phong Customs Department. Photo: N.Linh
Professional activities of customs officers at Hai Phong Customs Department. Photo: N.Linh

Building a legal basis towards automation

According to the Customs Control and Supervision Department, one of the orientations when amending and supplementing Decree No.08/2015/ND-CP dated January 21, 2015 of the Government is detailing and implementing the Law on Customs, in terms of customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision and control to amend and simplify administrative procedures and facilitate businesses. At the same time, improving and perfecting customs management for import and export activities and means of transport on entry, exit and transit; strengthening the application of information technology, and modernizing customs operations to build a smart customs model.

Regarding customs procedures for ships entering, transiting and transferring ports, the draft Decree will supplement regulations on the registration of general information for ships on entry and exit with the aim of creating a legal basis for the implementation of the Digital Customs System.

Therefore, the system will be designed in the direction of automatically checking information about means of transport when customs declarant declares the dossier of ships on entry and exit in order to prevent overlap declaration or incorrect declaration of information for each time of import and export which is actually happening now.

This also ensures support in assessing risks and reports on the operation of each ship on entry and exit and assisting customs declarants (shipping lines, shipping agents, logistics companies) to reduce the number of items that must be entered in the declarations, as declarants only need to enter the number of IMO to the system, so that the system will export generic data which is previously stored.

These changes also create an electronic database of ships engaged in entry and exit activities across the country through the system to support Customs authorities to monitor/making statistical operation history of each means of transport on entry and exit at any time. Furthermore, the draft Decree also supplements and clarifies the responsibilities of the Customs authority in handling the results of the inspection of documents, especially in the case of incoming seagoing ships transporting prohibited imports or suspending the import of goods that do not meet the provisions of the law on environmental protection; in case there is a problem with the System or when there is a written request to suspend customs procedures.

In addition, the draft Decree also adds the responsibility of "transporting goods stored at seaports causing environmental pollution, goods that are not eligible to be gathered at ports declared by shipping lines or their authorized persons when the ship enters and exits the territory of Vietnam, at the request of the customs authority. This clearly defines the legal responsibility to the captain, shipping line or person authorized by the shipping line and creates a basis for the Customs to stop carrying out entry procedures for ships of shipping lines that have (accidentally or intentionally) transported polluting consignments into Vietnam without transporting them out of the Vietnamese territory.

Amendment of many regulations related to means of transport

According to the Customs Control and Supervision Department, in the draft Decree, also regulates the management of means of transport by road, inland waterways and other means of transport following the orientation of implementing the new Smart customs management model. Therefore, the draft Decree supplementing regulations on customs procedures for all types of transport means the entry and exit by road, rail, and inland waterway, which are carried out on the electronic customs data processing system (online public service system); in case the customs electronic data processing system has problems, the customs declarant and the customs authority shall carry out paper procedures.

In the immediate future, when the Decree takes effect, these procedures will be carried out via the Online Public Service System. The Customs sector will develop a list of professional problems to design on the National Single Window Portal in order to ensure the application of modern information technologies in customs management in the long term.

By Ngọc Linh/Thanh Thuy

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