Director of HCM City Customs: Determined to ensure smooth trade flow

VCN - HCM City Customs Department is in charge of crucial seaports and border gates with 45% of the country's import and export volume, but the number of customs officers only accounts for 1 out of 5 of the whole sector. That requires HCM City Customs Department to constantly reform administrative procedures and promote the application of information technology in operation and management to handle a massive workload with many pressures and challenges.
Director of HCM City Customs Department Dinh Ngoc Thang said that, the above results came from the efforts and companionship of HCM City Customs and the business community for many years, built on the foundation of service attitude and trust.
Director of HCM City Customs Department Dinh Ngoc Thang said that, the above results came from the efforts and companionship of HCM City Customs and the business community for many years, built on the foundation of service attitude and trust.

Be active and creative

At the Customs – Business Forum and Honoring "Enterprises paying large taxes, performing well customs law compliance", held by Customs News on September 8, Director of HCM City Customs Department Dinh Ngoc Thang said for many years, HCM City Customs has always been the leading unit in administrative reform work of the Customs sector and the city.

Not only performing public administrative reform (PAR) tasks assigned by leaders at all levels, HCM City Customs is always proactive and creative, building many plans and action programs to implement the set goals and objectives: Customs and the business community are companions, trusting and developing together.

The highlight is the successful implementation of the HCM City Customs Administration System (HCAS). HCM City Customs Department started implementing the HCAS in 2019, but this system really promoted its strong effectiveness during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Nevertheless, customs officers of HCM City Customs Department still ensure to complete the work through HCAS.

Director General Dinh Ngoc Thang evaluated HCAS as a breakthrough in the reform and modernization work based on the strong application of achievements of integrated, multi-platform information technology, connecting internal administrative management with executive direction and support for professional processing (price data, quick HS code lookup, document lookup...).

After completion, the system has support programs connecting and sharing information between the HCM City Customs Department and other departments and branches in the area, such as the City Tax Department, Department of Planning and Investment.; connecting professional activities along with supporting and providing information for import-export enterprises; transactions of customs authorities and enterprises are transparent and public through the electronic transaction information technology system.

Flexible deploying measures to prevent congestion at Cat Lai port

The companionship, cooperation and sharing with enterprises to overcome difficulties are prominently shown in the flexible implementation of measures to prevent congestion at Cat Lai port, ensuring smooth commercial activities.

Recalling that period, Director General Dinh Ngoc Thang shared that at the end of July 2021, when the situation of goods at Cat Lai port tended to increase, HCM City Customs Department quickly proposed to the General Department of Vietnam Customs solutions to promptly reduce the load and save Cat Lai port with practical recommendations.

That was allowing Saigon Newport Corporation to transport backlogged goods exceeding 90 days from Cat Lai port to Hiep Phuoc Tan Cang port for storage and waiting for carrying out procedures to reduce the load on Cat Lai port; proposed to allow Saigon Newport Corporation to lease ports in the area of ​​​​HCM City to store goods to reduce the burden on Cat Lai port during the Covid-19 pandemic in the southern region.

At the same time, advising the General Department of Vietnam Customs to issue Circular guiding regulations on customs supervision of imported goods in case goods are congested at seaports where social distancing was applied following Directive No. 16. /CT-TTg.

At the same time, the Party Committee and leaders of the HCM City Customs Department also immediately deployed to the branch to arrange for customs officers and employees to carry out customs procedures 24/7 at Cat Lai port, ensuring goods are cleared day and night.

Establishment of Team 1080 and Team 1081

In particular, with the determination to ensure smooth trade flow, remove obstacles of businesses, meet the requirements of cargo clearance, avoid the interruption of the supply chain for production and consumption, especially for goods serving medical work and Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control, HCM City Customs Department proactively established two "combat" units, including Quick response team to clear goods for Covid-19 prevention (referred to as Group 1080) and the Standing Group to combat congestion at the border gate (referred to as Group 1081).

The director of the HCM City Customs Department said that the establishment of the above two working groups was agreed upon and highly appreciated by the leaders of the People's Committee of HCM City and the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, especially the timeliness during the difficult period of Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides that, leaders of the Departments also welcomed this initiative of the HCM City Customs Department. The criteria for performing the tasks of the two quick response teams have practical significance in supporting businesses to overcome all difficulties while ensuring production and trade activities, helping businesses ensure the implementation of "1 road, two destinations" and ensuring the implementation of social distancing under Directive 16 of the Prime Minister.

According to the leader of the largest local customs unit in the sector, the above results come from the efforts and companionship of HCM City Customs and the business community for many years, built on the foundation of service attitude and trust.

"During the most stressful period of Covid-19, HCM City increased the measure of social distancing. Only 10% of road permits were issued to customs officials and civil servants. Leaders and civil servants put on backpacks to perform a task under the condition of the "3 on-spot" battle: performing tasks, isolation and living in one place. We determined that only move forward, not allowed to go back in order to ensure customs management activities are operated 24/7 "- Director Dinh Ngoc Thang shared.

Mr Thang also affirmed that in the post-pandemic period, the unit would continue to be a trusted companion, supporting businesses in economic recovery, and implementing many action plans and programs to create equality for enterprises in production and business activities.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy

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