Customs continues to accelerate reforms and reduce time for customs clearance of goods

VCN - The heavy impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020 has made many enterprises struggle, even on the verge of bankruptcy. The solution to remove difficulties for enterprises in this period as well as in the long term is the support of State management agencies. In fact, concrete, practical and direct actions of Customs to solve difficulties for enterprises with import and export activities have been welcomed and supported by the business community.
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customs continues to accelerate reforms and reduce time for customs clearance of goods
A meetingof the Customs Sub-Department of North Thang LongIndustrial Park(Hanoi Customs Department) listening to opinions of enterprises. Photo: N.Linh

Removing problems for enterprises

Removing difficulties for enterprises in submitting C/O to enjoy tax incentives is one of the examples showing the active involvement of the Customs authorities to find the best support solution for enterprises.

In fact, from the first months of the year, the enterprises reflected difficulties thatC/O could not be submittedon time as prescribed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The General Department of Customs noted all the problems, and expected directions for removing them. Based on the comments of enterprises, notices of the C/O issuers,and the actual situation, the Customs authoritieshave studied the current legal provisions in consultation with the Ministry of Finance for signing. Circular No. 47/2020/TT-BTC of May 27, 2020 providing the time limit for submission of certificates of origin,the form of submission of certificates of origin for imported goods during the period of Covid-19.

Not only Circular 47/2020/TT-BTC, but also in early February 2020, following the direction of the Prime Minister, the General Department of Customs took the lead in coordinating with the ministries and the construction industry to draft a Decisionon the list of imported goods for preventing and controlling Covid-19.

The draft was quickly completed, and the Minister of Finance signed Decision 155/QD-BTCpromulgating the list of items eligible for import duty exemption for the prevention of Covid-19. The General Department of Customs also promptly issued documents to guidetheCustoms Departments in implementing import duty exemption for goods to prevent and control the pandemicunder Decision 155/QD-BTC.

Continuing to reform

Since the beginning of the year, the General Department of Customs has reviewed and proposed the elaboration of many documents to amend and supplement the system of documents detailing the Law on Export Tax and Import Tax; the Customs Law. Of which, the unit submitted two legal documents, namely, Decree 46/2020/ND-CP dated April 9, 2020 of the Government stipulating goods in transit under the ASEAN customs transit system; Circular 13/2020/TT-BTC amending and supplementing Circular 13/2015/TT-BTC on inspection, supervision and temporary suspension of customs procedures for export and import goodsrequired intellectual property rights protection; controlling goods and goods infringing intellectual property rights.

In addition, the General Department of Customs has reported to the Ministry of Finance to submit three draft decrees to the Government, including: Draft Decree amending and supplementing Decree 167/2016/ND-CP on duty-free goods trading; Draft Decree amending and supplementing Decree 68/2016/ND-CP on business conditions for duty-free shops, warehouses, yards, and locations for customs clearance, gathering, inspection and supervision; Draft Decree guidingtemporary admission under the Istanbul Convention.

In addition, a series of other legal documents are being developed by the General Department of Customs such as: Draft Decree replaces Decree 127/2013/ND-CPstipulating administrative sanctions and enforcementof administrative decisions in the field of customs and Decree 45/2016/ND-CP amending and supplementing Decree 127/2013/ND-CP.

In order to complete the policies on the Customs and import-export field, the General Department of Customs has collaborated with the units of the Ministry of Finance to research and propose solutions for problems in the tax application of excess materialsfrom the export production and export process in the draft Decree amending and supplementing Decree 134/2016/ND-CP; coordinating in the development ofDecreeon Preferential Export Tariffs and Special Preferential Import Tariffs of Vietnamto implement the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in the 2020-2022 period; coordinated in developing and submitting the Government's Decree No. 39/2020/ND-CP to promulgate Vietnam's preferential import tariff for the implementation of Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement for the 2020-2023 period.

The improvement of legal mechanisms and policies of the General Department of Customs has contributed to perfecting the customs legal system, creating a legal basis for solving arising problems, internalizing international commitmentsandadding regulations to meet management requirementsin recent years.

The General Department of Customs continues to coordinate closely with the concerned ministries, branches and units to enhance the application of information technology to promoteimport and export activities and build a modern, professional, transparent, andefficient Customstowards building e-government.

Notably, the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs) continues to improve the National Single Window, the ASEAN Single Window through the development of a draft Decree on connection and information sharing among agenciesvia the National Single Window to serve the state management in the field of import, export and transit of goods.

In addition, the General Department of Customs is developing a master plan on building and developing an information technology system serving the implementation of the National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window in the direction of centralized handling.

At the same time, the administrative procedure implemented on the National Single Window has reached 198 procedures, with over three million records of nearly 37,000 enterprises, ensuring 100% of enterprises accessing and authenticating through the National Single Window Portal. Vietnam has exchangedelectronic certificates of originform D with 10 ASEAN countries.

The results show the efforts of the Customs and relevant units in accelerating reform and modernization and application of technology in implementing procedures. With these achievements, the General Department of Customs has been awarded the Excellent Digital Transformation State Agency in 2019 by the Vietnam Digital Communications Association.

Currently, the General Department of Customs is focusing on completing the Scheme on renewing the model of inspecting the quality of import and export goods to submit to the Prime Minister for approval in 2020 in the direction that the Customs office is the focal point for specialized inspectionat the border gate (except for goods related to security, defense, quarantine), the specialized management ministry performs post-inspection contributing to the reform of specialized inspection procedures and reduce difficultiesfor import-export enterprises.
By N.Linh/ Binh Minh

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