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Digital transformation and new development period part of customs modernization process: Director of Customs IT and Statistics Department Le Duc Thanh

14:20 | 21/06/2022

VCN – Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can has signed 707/QD-TCHQ, approving the plan of digital transformation of the Customs sector by 2025, with an orientation to 2030. Customs News interviewed Director of Customs IT and Statistics Department Le Duc Thanh about the plan.

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Digital transformation and new development period part of customs modernization process: Director of Customs IT and Statistics Department Le Duc Thanh
Director of Customs IT and Statistics Department Le Duc Thanh

Could you tell us about the role of digital transformation in customs modernization?

The digital transformation plays a key role in customs modernization.

Firstly, developed countries and World Customs Organization have classified the development of Customs authorities into six levels since 2018, the digital customs is the highest level.

Secondly, the modernization is not only the task of the Customs sector, but also the common tasks of the management agency and business community. Recently, the Government and the Ministry of Finance have issued resolutions and action plans for customs modernization and digital transformation. Following the Government’s direction and the ministry, the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) has urgently developed and issued the plan of digital transformation of the Customs sector by 2025, orientation to 2030.

Fianlly, the digital transformation is an inevitable cycle in customs modernization process. On the other hand, the modernization process has to go through procedures, and the Customs IT system has not met the trend and management requirements, so digital transformation is necessary.

What are the key tasks set out in the Digital Transformation Plan?

The Digital Transformation plan includes three key tasks:

The first, the plan focuses on implementing Decision 97/QD-BTC of the Ministry of Finance approving the policy of Outsourcing IT services to implement Digital Customs. Decision 97 stipulates the basic contents, such as redesigning the whole customs process, developing the IT system; widely notifying the IT system to the business community after it is completed.

The second, the plan implements the National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window with the goal of processing all administrative procedures related to import and export activities of ministries and sectors on the Customs IT system.

The third, the plan aims to build a centralized database on import and export goods to serve the business community and the management of Customs authorities and related ministries and government agencies.

What benefits does digital transformation bring to businesses, Customs authority and management agencies?

For the business community, the digital transformation of the Customs sector will reduce costs, time and quickly clear goods and provide information on tax payment for businesses. In addition, the businesses will be instructed by the management agencies before carrying out administrative procedures, thereby planning in an effective manner.

The digital transformation will help warehouse and yard operators expedite the goods transportation based on the plans and information provided by the management agencies, especially the Customs authority.

The transformation will provide more digitalized information for the effective and accurate management of the competent agencies such as the Customs, the Tax and the Ministry of Finance.

The ministries, government agencies and related parties will share information of import and export shipments via the system, contributing to enhancing the efficiency of the State management and creating the basis for the development of e-Government and digital government in Vietnam.

The ministries, government agencies and related parties will coordinate with the Customs to improve the efficiency of State management of export and import shipments during customs procedures, customs clearance and after customs clearance.

The implementation of procedures related to imports and exports on the one system, contributing to reforming administrative procedures and saving costs in developing the IT system.

What is the roadmap and solutions for the implementation of the digital transformation plan?

The plan includes three key contents and will be implemented between now to 2025.

Customs has implemented procedures and issued the first set of documents on operational processes with over 2,000 pages in May, specifying all customs procedures processed via the IT system. The Customs sector has conducted technology architectural design. After completing two architectural systems, we will build the IT system and run the system, which is expected at the end of 2023 and early 2024.

For the project on building the National Single Window, the centralized ASEAN Single Window, the key content stipulates the connection and sharing information related to import, export and transit of goods, people and means of transport via the National Single Window.

Regarding the national database for import and export goods, the Trade Facilitation Project has approved to assist in consulting the development of the project. The investment procedures are expected to be implemented in 2022 and 2023. According to the plan of the Customs sector, the national database for import and export goods will be operated in 2024 or 2025.

In order to successfully coordinate the implementation of the Digital Transformation Plan, how does the Customs sector expect to receive cooperation from stakeholders?

The Digital Transformation Plan is related to many parties. The implementation of Decision 97 is the charge of importers, exporters, warehouse and port operators, and after reaching approval in the customs sector, the customs agency shall conduct consultation with stakeholders and businesses.

We will also gather feedback from IT enterprises.

In the near future we will also get feedback on operational process from international organizations, customs administrations of developed countries, meeting international standards and practices on modern customs management, and facilitating the exchange of information between Vietnam Customs and regional and international Customs administrations.

Thanks Sir!

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan