Border gate area planning associated with digital transformation needs to prioritize human resources, equipment, and infrastructure

VCN - According to Lang Son Customs Department, to implement the master plan of the land border gate area associated with the goal of digital transformation, in which, to ensure successful implementation of the Customs Development Strategy until 2023, Building digital Customs, a smart Customs model, it is necessary to review and evaluate the overall system of land border gates, paying attention to investment in equipment, facilities, and human resources.
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Officials of Huu Nghi International Border Gate Customs Branch (Lang Son Customs Department) carry out screening of cargo containers using a mobile scanner. Photo: H.Nu
Officials of Huu Nghi International Border Gate Customs Branch (Lang Son Customs Department) carry out screening of cargo containers using a mobile scanner. Photo: H.Nu

Reality in Lang Son area

Decision No. 236/QD-TTg dated March 19, 2024 of the Prime Minister approving the Planning of Lang Son province for the 2021-2023 period, with a vision to 2050, sets out the orientation for developing border gate economy and border gate economic zone to maintain its position as one of the provinces with important land border gates in the country.

In particular, Lang Son province has implemented the smart border gate model through expanding services provided for import-export activities in general and export processing and trade of agricultural products in particular.

Encouraging the development of various types of cross-border services associated with the border gate economy. Developing warehouses with large capacity, diverse functions and circulation processes of import and export goods at Huu Nghi international border gate, Dong Dang international railway station and Tan Thanh, Chi Ma, Binh Nghi border gates.

Notably, Lang Son province continues to develop 12 border gates, of which, focusing on developing five border gates.

Specifically, focusing on developing Huu Nghi international border gate to become a model border gate applying high technology, a smart border gate, and a typical border gate for Vietnamese road transport. Developing Dong Dang International Railway Station towards providing the main logistics services and smart, modern support services commensurate with the development of railway services of countries in the ASEAN region.

Upgrading Chi Ma border gate into an international border gate and developing warehouses and logistics services for e-commerce; Upgrading Binh Nghi border gate into a national border gate. In particular, turning Tan Thanh border gate area into a center for agricultural export processing and agricultural product consumption for Vietnam and ASEAN countries through the agricultural product trading floor. Focusing on developing the Dong Dang - Lang Son border gate economic zone into a general economic zone, combining the development of tourism and other economic sectors.

To realize the goals according to the roadmap, on June 14, 2024, Lang Son province officially started construction of VSIP Industrial Park in Lang Son according to Decision No. 501/QD-TTg dated May 15, 2023 of the Prime Minister.

It is planned that by the third quarter of 2025, phase 1 of the project will be completed and put into operation. According to the assessment of Lang Son Customs Department, although the project is completed and put into operation, which will contribute to promoting import-export, processing and export production activities, it will lead to increased requirements for customs management in the near future.

Lang Son Customs Department also said that currently in the management area there are 21 locations for gathering, inspecting and monitoring import and export goods at four border gates; three bonded warehouses at Coc Nam border gate and Chi Ma border gate; two postal and express delivery warehouses and two duty-free shops at Huu Nghi international border gate; two goods inspection locations at the construction site belonging to Bao Long Co., Ltd and Dong Banh Cement Factory; At Chi Ma border gate there are eight locations, Tan Thanh border gate has seven locations, Coc Nam border gate has four locations, and Huu Nghi international border gate has two locations.

Through reviewing and checking the situation of business activities of warehouses operators and duty-free shops in the area, Lang Son Customs Department assessed that they all meet the regulations in Decree 68/2016/ND- CP, amended and supplemented in Decree 67/2020/ND-CP. However, the requirements of import-export activities, the flow of transport vehicles, and import-export goods have increased, so some warehouses have expanded in area, which area beyond the licensed area, or warehouse operators have not arranged separate storage areas for import-export goods, transit goods, and backlogged goods as prescribed in Decree 08/2015/ND-CP.

Notably, five customs gathering, inspection and supervision locations in Po Nhung and Binh Nghi for 6 consecutive months have not had any activities of bring goods in or out of the location, which is subject to be temporarily suspended operations.

Items should be prioritized

To ensure management work, Lang Son Customs Department has arranged adequate human resources, equipment, and facilities at border gates to handle customs procedures according to regulations.

However, in the future, Lang Son Customs Department believes that there needs to be an overall assessment of the land border gate system to serve as a basis for building policies and technical processes to effectively serve customs management work. Researching the characteristics at Huu Nghi international border gate when developing policies and procedures to apply to this type of road. At the same time, paying attention to investing in equipment, facilities, human resources, funding.

According to reality at Huu Nghi international border gate, in 2023, the turnover of all types of import and export was about US$40 billion, the budget revenue of Huu Nghi border gate Customs Branch accounted for 80% of the entire Department's revenue. Currently, on average there are about 6,000 visitors per day, it is expected to increase to 10,000 visitors/day in the near future. Every day Huu Nghi Customs manages and supervises 800-900 vehicles transporting import and export goods of complex nature such as: electronic components, consumer goods, garments, machinery and equipment, e-commerce products...

With the increasing flow of people and goods, it easily leads to the risk of taking advantage of the situation to commit acts of smuggling, fraud, and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

Meanwhile, Huu Nghi Customs is managing 103 civil servants and workers who work continuously from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., even working up to 10:00 p.m some days; IT application tools, means, and testing equipment are lacking and inconsistent; Data between parties is not shared...

Similarly, at Chi Ma, Tan Thanh border gates, Dong Dang and Coc Nam railway stations, human resources and equipment managed by the Customs agency are still thin and lacking... leading to many difficulties in management of vehicles on entry and exit, import and export goods and preventing crime.

Therefore, with the characteristics of the border gate in Lang Son area, there is a large flow of goods, especially the flow of agricultural products accounting for 90% and the number of vehicles transporting goods through the border gate is increasing, requiring quick customs clearance time, Lang Son Customs Department believes that the priority for additional human resources is extremely necessary to strengthen customs inspection and control capacity, ensuring the effective implementation of customs duties.

In addition, associated with the goal of digital transformation towards building a digital Customs and smart Customs model, Lang Son Customs Department proposed that the General Department of Customs and the Ministry of Finance prioritize investment in equipment, IT systems and facilities to meet requirements and actively support the process of operating modern customs systems in the Customs Development Strategy to 2023.

By Reporter/ Huyen Trang

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