Customs ensures safety for officers and supports businesses amid Covid-19 pandemic

VCN – As complicated development of Covid-19 pandemic, the Customs sector has given priority to taking measures to prevent the disease while ensuring safety of officers and quick customs clearance for import and export goods.
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Customs ensures safety for officers and supports businesses amid Covid-19 pandemic
Officers of 1st Sai Gon Seaport Customs Branch implement online customs clearance for enterprises. Photo: Thu Hoa.

Timely handling of obstacles

According to the Deputy Director of Customs Control and Supervision Department Dao Duy Tam, the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) continues to ask local customs departments to maintain and establish a working team to remove obstacles in customs process for import and export goods, ensuring quick customs clearance.

In addition, the GDVC has set up advisory units at its headquarters. For example, the Import and Export Duty Department, the Customs Control and Supervision Department will receive and handle problems. If issues are beyond the teams’ competency, they will report to the leaders or work with authorities to timely remove obstacles for businesses and instruct local customs departments.

For problems beyond the advisory units’ competency, they will report to the GDVC to direct local customs departments within three hours of receiving problems.

The units also receive feedback from firms and local departments via e-mail, Zalo or Viber to immediately handle problems.

Local customs departments are requested to develop plans to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, and limit contact in customs process and ensure goods circulation. Many local customs units have provided solutions for arising situations such as setting up backup teams and arranging officers to work online, the Deputy Director said.

He also asked the departments to instruct customs declarants, taxpayers to declare and submit customs dossier, applications related to tax exemption, reduction, refund, and non-collection of tax to customs via the e-customs data processing system or via postal or express delivery services.

Therefore, all transactions between customs officers and businesses are carried out on the system or by phone, sans direct contact.

The departments must assign officers to receive paper documents at a separate place and these officers must be fully equipped with tools and equipment for pandemic prevention.

Working with other units to ensure safety in disease prevention

According to the Deputy Director, local customs department should work with managing units to arrange private channels for customs officers to minimise the disease transmission at customs branches where their offices are in the same place with other agencies at border gates.

He also requested departments to offer solutions to ensure safety for officers during performance such as implementing vaccination, providing equipment to prevent corona virus, including: masks, antiseptic hand sanitiser, protective clothing, face shield mask, thermometers.

Local customs departments have followed the Government’s directions on Covid-19 prevention and control.

HCM City has strengthened social distancing measures since August 23 and the city department has asked heads of its customs branches to make working plans in line with the restrictions, and assign officers to directly perform at the office, including implementation of the “three-on-the-spot” model which officers do tasks, eat, and rest after work in the same place to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

In addition, Binh Duong Customs Department has set up Quick Response Teams at its branches to remove obstacles and clear goods.

The department has requested all officers comply with the central and local government’s directions to ensure disease prevention and develop the economy.

Working places must be arranged to meet requirements for disease prevention.

If the import and export goods must be conducted physical inspections, municipal and provincial customs departments are required to inspect goods at centralised checkpoints. These places must meet requirements on goods circulation and transportation.

At the same time, officers are arranged to work at these checkpoints to limit the performance at each production establishment or places with high risk of disease transmission.

By Ngoc Linh/Ngoc Loan

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