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Customs in the southeast region supporting businesses to restore import and export activities

13:51 | 05/10/2021

VCN – The HCM City and many southern provinces and cities are easing the social distancing and gradually opening up the economy, the volume of import and export goods through the HCM City border gates will be expected to grow. The HCM City and Dong Nai Customs Departments have prepared a plan to support businesses to restore production.

HCM City Customs Department provides solutions to support businesses HCM City Customs Department provides solutions to support businesses
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Officials of Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch carry out customs clearance procedures for firms. Photo: T.H
Officials of Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch carry out customs clearance procedures for firms. Photo: T.H

Removing problems in a timely fashion

The HCM City has implemented social distancing according to Directive 15 and Directive 16 of the Prime Minister for more than 4 months. During the social distancing period, the HCM City Customs Department has regularly contacted with associations to receive comments from the business community, especially foreign business associations on policies of the city in economic recovery in the future.

The HCM City Customs Department has reported to the People's Committee of the HCM City and the General Department of Customs recommendations from businesses related to support to restore their production.

As of September 13, 2021, the HCM City Customs Department earned US$95,206 billion in trade, up 7.23% year-on-year. Of which, exports declines 4.56% to US$38,192 billion and imports rose 16.9% to US$57,013 billion

Deputy Director of HCM City Customs Department Nguyen Huu Nghiep said during the period of strict social distancing, the department only arranged 10 % of officers to work at office. This affected the speed of customs clearance. To overcome this problem, the unit proposed more travel permits for nearly 200 officers to increase officers in charge of key stages.

More than 85% of officials and employees of HCM City Customs Department have got two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Therefore, the department has proposed to the city’s leaders on adding officers working at the offices to meet the customs clearance needs of businesses and rapid economic recovery.

Along with that, the HCM City Customs Department has actively guided and answered questions of the business community and reported to the General Department of Customs issues beyond its competence.

Similarly, Dong Nai Customs Department is making efforts to understand expectations of firms and support the in import-export activities.

To support firms to restore production and export activities, Dong Nai Customs will update maximum procedures and documents for import and export into electronic system; apply electronic customs for trade, import-export and tax procedures to shorten time of customs clearance time and export, helping firm feel secure in their production and business, and contributing to improving competitiveness of domestic firms.

According to Deputy Director of Dong Nai Customs Department Nguyen Phuc Tho, the unit will study and propose developing solutions of channelling in a flexible way, reducing Red channel declarations for some low-risk commodities and facilitate quick clearance of goods.

Support import and export activities

During social distancing, the HCM City Customs Department issued appropriate and adaptive plans and solutions to support import-export activities. In addition to arranging officers to work at border gates, Quick Response Teams to support customs clearance were established in a timely manner. Only after nearly two months of establishment, nearly 600 shipments related to pandemic prevention and control were promptly cleared by the Quick Response Teams.

According to the leader of HCM City Customs, the HCM City and many southern provinces and cities are easing the social distancing, gradually opening the economy, the volume of import and export goods through the HCM City border gates will be expected to grow. Therefore, in addition to increasing officers working offline, the HCM City Customs has maintained the Quick Response Teams, worked with organisations, business associations, and individuals to received their comments to guide, advise and support them customs procedures; and cooperated relevant competent authorities and other customs units to handle customs procedures, ensuring fastest clearance of goods, supplies and medical equipment for pandemic prevention and control.

In order to strengthen coordination in trade facilitation and prevention of congestion at border gates, the HCM City Customs has worked with Vietnam Logistics Business Association to raise the number of declarations made via customs agents.

At the same time, the department has effectively expanded the participants in the trade facilitation project. In the third quarter of 2021, the HCM City Customs carried out procedures for over 800 firms participating in the project, with 8,269 declarations and 14,275 containers of import and export goods.

To create favorable conditions for firms to resume production, import and export, the HCM City Customs has proposed soon promulgation of the Circular on the submission of documents required in the customs dossiers for imported and exported goods and customs supervision for imported goods subject to border gate transfer in case of congestion at seaports.

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At Dong Nai Customs Department, from October 15, two branches under Dong Nai Customs Department will be transformed to the border-gate customs model, named Dong Nai Port Border-Gate Customs Branch and Binh Thuan Port Border Gate Customs Branch. This will create great advantages for enterprises, helping shorten the time for customs clearance, delivery and transportation of goods. Transportation costs will also be significantly cut.

By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang