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CITES permits under the National Single Window: Difficulties for enterprises

20:56 | 13/07/2016

VCN- The procedures of CITES permits for enterprises in the field of export, import and re-export of specimens of animals and plants in the appendices of CITES have been officially launched under the National Single Window (NSW) from the end of 2015. After some difficulties, the number of participating companies as well as the number of permits issued have increased significantly compared to the first time, but enterprises still face many problems and hesitate.  

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Up to now, there were 86 CITES permits issued through national portal of Vietnam.

No perfect software

According to Ms. Phan Thi Nguyet, specialist of Vietnam CITES Management Authority (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), until July 5, the total number of records processed on the national portal were 43, the number of CITES permits were 86. In the beginning, only two companies participated in the procedures under the National Single Window, but after the support and propagation of Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, the total current participating enterprises have increased to 5 enterprises.

Tam Son International Limited Company (the company specializing in imported handbags, belts, cords, leather watches from the French market through Noi Bai airport) has been participating in CITES permits procedures under National Single Window since April, 2016. Speaking to Customs reporters, Ms. Le Thi Phuong, Imex Company's employees said: Recently, more than 10 enterprises have submitted applications through the national portal with legal permits. If all matters are favorable, the time to issue permits will be about 3-4 days from when enterprises send the delaration.

"In spirit, enterprises appreciate the benefits that National Single Window brings. However, the emerging problems that enterprises face are the problems from the software or other reasons. Therefore, when the permit is granted, the customs authorities can not receive information, so enterprises have to manually bring the entire original dossier to submit to Vietnam CITES Management Authority for the paper permit. Then, enterprises bring this permit to the customs authorities in order to complete the dossier for clearance of goods. Enterprises hope that these problems will be solved as soon as possible in order to facilitate, and reduce customs clearance time for businesses. For the original permit, enterprises may still need to take it back, as a kind of materials for storage", Ms. Phuong emphasized.

In response to questions from representatives of Tam Son International Limited Company, Ms. Nguyet said: So far, Vietnam CITES Management Authority has not received any similar feedback as the case of Tam Son company, so I state that all activities are still taking place smoothly. Next time, CITES Management Authority will soon consider, together with related units to remove these problems during the process of National Single Window, especially when experiencing any difficulty, enterprises are able to request immediately to authorities promptly to solve.

About the inadequacies related to software of National Single Window, Ms. Nguyet said: Compared to the beginning of application, more problems related to the software have been fixed. However, the maximum size designed to enterpises’ declaration on the system is just 2Mb, which does not meet the needs of a large number of enterprises with records up to hundreds of pages. This is also one of the limitations that companies have tried, but not interested in National Single Window.

Hesitate to change

In addition to objective factors of software design which are not fully consistent with the needs of businesses, one of the important reasons that makes the deployment of NSW for CITES permits procedures of the enterprises in export, import and re-export about specimens of animals and plants in the Appendices of CITES challenging, is the need of enterprises applying for permits is not high, which makes them hesitate to change.

A representative from one of 5 companies participating in NSW said, his company specialized in exporting crops to foreign markets, such as Japan, Taiwan (China), etc. Up to now, his company has performed only a dossier through national portal. As usual, the time for granting the permit is 4-5 days. However, due to first-time application, his enterprises faced many difficulties in records declaration, which took his enterpises several more days, with the support of some relevant units. "In fact, after the application of NSW, many enterprises state that if applicable both ways as the electronic records and paper records, the companies still choose to apply paper records. This statement is from the actual needs of enterprises, because the amount of exports are not large, just only several times per year for export, leading to several times of the permit application. Meanwhile, paper records or electronic paper is not really important", the representative said.

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Related to this matter, Ms. Nguyet also confirmed: Many companies need to implement procedures for CITES permit application, but due to the small-scale, not used to using information technology, just only several number of times to apply permits, companies, therefore, are not really interested in it. "For bigger enterprises, procedures for permit application is also quite regular, but they still hesitate to change because they are familiar with the traditional way through paper records. Companies are still afraid of trouble in the first step of application although Vietnam CITES Management Authority always provides guidelines and encouragement", Ms. Nguyet said.

By Thanh Nguyen/ Hoang Anh