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Customs sector implements solutions for smooth cargo clearance

09:20 | 23/01/2022

VCN – At the end of the year and ahead of the Lunar New Year 2022, the demand for shopping results in an increase in import and export goods across the border. Facing that situation, the Customs sector has implemented many solutions to carry out cargo clearance quickly and conveniently. At the same time, reducing the congestion at land border gates.

Customs News spoke to Mr. Au Anh Tuan, Director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department, about solutions the Customs sector has been implementing.

Mr. Au Anh Tuan, Director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department - General Department of Vietnam Customs
Mr. Au Anh Tuan, Director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs

Facing an increase in the volume of import – export goods during the Lunar New Year, what solutions has the Customs sector carried out in order to ensure smooth goods circulation?

According to the assessment of the Customs authority, the volume of imported goods for the Lunar New Year, especially consumer goods increased. Normally, congestion took place at land border gates. This has been forecast by the customs authority. For example, facilitating cargo clearance; arranging customs officers at border gate to process procedures 24/7 in order to handle the clearance of import and export goods.

At seaports, recently, the Ministry of Finance issued a Circular to solve congestion.

At the same time, the Ministry also promulgated a Circular allowing enterprises to submit documents electronically instead of by paper for fast clearance (Circular No. 82/2021/TT-BTC dated September 30, 2021 of the Minister of Finance on regulations on customs supervision for imported goods transferred to border gates in case imported goods are congested or at risk of congestion at seaports where social distancing is applied under Directive No. 16/CT-TTg dated March 31, 2020 of the Prime Minister; Circular 121/2021/TT-BTC dated December 24, 2021 on customs procedures for imported goods serving urgent requirements for Covid-19 prevention; submit documents in customs dossiers and conduct a physical inspection of exported and imported goods in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic).

In addition, the General Department of Vietnam Customs directed local Customs Departments to closely coordinate with competent authorities such as port enterprises, Border Defences, border gate economic authority, and specialized inspection agencies to coordinate to carry out quick cargo clearance, but still ensure the fight against smuggling and trade fraud on this Tet holiday.

Besides that, the General Department of Vietnam Customs always closely monitors the situation at the border gate to implement policies, speed up customs clearance and relieve congestion. In particular, the congestion is taking place at the land border gate, especially at the end of December.

Immediately, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued many documents directing local customs departments at border provinces to facilitate quick cargo clearance, encouraging businesses to register declarations first so they only go to the border gate to carry out delivery and exports.

When congestion occurs, local customs unit should proactively and promptly coordinate with local authorities to solve it. At the same time, notifying businesses to regulate the number of goods brought to the border gate to reduce congestion.

After a period of solutions to reduce the congestion of goods at the land border gate area bordering China, how are goods currently circulating at the border gates?

With the participation of the Government, Prime Minister and ministries, up to now, the situation of goods congestion at border gates has basically been resolved.

In Lang Son, at the peak, there were about 5,000 container trucks at the border gate. As of January 11, there were only 1,800 vehicles remaining at the border gate areas, it was mainly at Tan Thanh and Huu Nghi. In other areas, such as in Mong Cai (Quang Ninh), China has begun to allow the export of goods after the country strengthened pandemic control measures.

In Mong Cai, it is hoped that with policies of speeding up cargo clearance on the Chinese side, import and export goods would quickly return to a normal situation. In Lang Son, competent forces are coordinating with the Chinese to quickly reopen Tan Thanh border gate to export some fruits to China. At Huu Nghi, the clearance speed is currently 400-500 vehicles/day (about 100 trucks for export, 300-400 trucks for imports). With that current clearance rate, Lang Son has only reached 50% of its capacity compared to normal days.

The authorities are also closely coordinating to take measures such as setting up buffer zones and green zones to ensure pandemic prevention for export goods.

Ministries and sectors have also recommended businesses monitor the situation to regulate the number of goods, to avoid massively sending goods to the border gate to cause congestion.

At the same time, enterprises should take more synchronous and long-term measures to improve the quality of products and goods manufactured in Vietnam, comply with the regulations on quarantine, food safety, and traceability of China, gradually shift from lump-sum to paying full export tax to ensure benefits and improve export quality. Along with that is the diversification of export markets. Hopefully, in the near future, the problem of goods congestion at the border would be solved. Customs authorities would continue to coordinate with competent forces to speed up cargo clearance.

Modern, fast and convenient customs procedures, inspection and supervision are indispensable requirements in the future. How is this orientation implemented by the Customs sector in 2022?

In 2022, the Customs Control and Supervision Department identified a number of key tasks, focusing on handling to accelerate the implementation of Digital Customs, Smart Customs model and the implementation of the Customs Modernization Reform Strategy in the 2021-2030 period.

Regarding completing the legal basis to create a premise for implementing Digital Customs and the Smart Customs model, the Customs Control and Supervision Department would continue to coordinate with other units to finalize a number of legal documents from decrees to circulars in order to have a basis for customs modernization reform.

Also, continuing to implement the decree on renewing the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection according to Decision 38/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister. With these solutions, it is hoped that customs procedures and specialized inspections, as well as import-export procedures, would be reduced, simplified, implemented in a digital platform, to help businesses.

Regarding implementation, the Customs Control and Supervision Department would continue to coordinate with relevant units to review and complete the professional problems of Smart Customs as a premise for the new system by the end of 2022 and early 2023.

In addition, the unit would continue to focus on improving the current customs procedures in the direction of approaching the digital customs model and smart customs such as requiring the implementation of all goods supervision procedures at border gates by sea, by air and by road in an electronic and automated environment.

Thank you!

By Ngọc Linh/Thanh Thuy