Enhancing the effectiveness of e-C/O exchange, creating a favorable business environment

VCN - Increasing administrative procedures conducted on an electronic platform is an effective approach to improving the business environment, creating favorable conditions, and promoting production and business activities. In this regard, the successful issuance of electronic C/Os between Vietnam and other countries is a significant effort to facilitate export-import growth.
Professional activities at Hon La Port Border Gate Customs Branch, Quang Binh Customs Department. Photo: Thai Binh
Professional activities at Hon La Port Border Gate Customs Branch, Quang Binh Customs Department. Photo: Thai Binh

Vietnam - Korea Electronic Exchange of Certificates of Origin

In June 2023, leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the General Department of Vietnam Customs, and the General Department of Korea Customs signed a Joint Declaration on the technical connection of EODES based on the "Memorandum of Understanding on the Electronic Certificate of Origin Data Exchange System" to facilitate the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and Korea (VKFTA) and the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the Government of the member countries of ASEAN and the Government of the Republic of Korea (AKFTA) signed in October 2022. This is a significant document that supports the transmission and receipt of Certificate of Origin (C/O) data through the EODES system between Vietnam and Korea. This document demonstrates the determination of the two countries to expedite the C/O issuance process in the exporting country and the customs clearance of goods based on electronic C/O data to benefit from VKFTA and AKFTA tariff preferences in the importing country, significantly reducing time and cost pressures for businesses.

At the same time, it demonstrates the trust and close, effective cooperation between the competent authorities of the two countries, paving the way for Vietnam and Korea to gradually switch to full electronic C/O issuance within the framework of the free trade agreements of which the two countries are members, further promoting trade, investment, and production activities between businesses of the two countries.

The EODES system will be technically connected from July 1st, 2023 to transmit and receive electronic C/O data for AK and VK/KV forms. The two sides have agreed to use electronic C/O data transmitted through EODES for customs clearance of goods and to grant tariff preferences. In parallel, hard copies of these C/O forms will still be sent to the importer in the importing country for the purpose of record keeping and subsequent verification of the origin of the goods.

After about 9 months of implementation, the transmission and receipt of Certificate of Origin (C/O) data fraud has brought many benefits in terms of shortening the customs clearance time for import and export goods.

Ms. Nguyen Pham Như Ha, Deputy Director of the Department of Handling and Intellectual Property (General Department of Customs Control and Management of the General Department of Customs) said that the signing and implementation of the exchange of C/O data between the Vietnamese and Korean Customs authorities opens up many opportunities for businesses. import and export of the two countries.

"With this data exchange, we have shortened the time for issuing C/Os electronically, while also shortening the customs clearance time for goods and minimizing costs for businesses when carrying out import and export procedures. Thereby promoting trade turnover between the two countries, as well as attracting more foreign investment into Vietnam", Ms. Nguyen Pham Như Ha informed.

Through 9 months, the exchange of C/O data between the two sides has been very large. This is a prerequisite for the two sides to implement the electronic C/O issuance method not only between Vietnam and Korea but also to expand to other Free Trade Agreements of which Vietnam and Korea are members.

According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Phu Ha, for this system, businesses and provincial and city Customs Agencies have responded very positively, helping to reduce time and costs for businesses. "In the near future, there are plans to upgrade the EODES exchange system, not just a simple exchange of information and data on C/O, but also to be able to assist the Customs Agency in verifying C/O," Ms. Ha informed.

Completely Exchange e-C/Os with nine ASEAN Countries

Not only transmitting and receiving Certificate of Origin (C/O) data between Vietnam and Korea, one of the outstanding results of cooperation and integration in ASEAN is the exchange of certificates of origin Form D (C/O Form D) through the ASEAN Single Window.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam has now officially connected to the ASEAN Single Window Mechanism to completely exchange electronic Certificates of Origin Form D (e-C/O Form D) with 9 ASEAN countries since January 2024. As of now, the exchange of C/O Form D is done entirely on Vietnam's National Single Window Mechanism. Any obstacles are resolved according to the mechanism agreed upon by the ASEAN Working Groups.

In addition, regarding research and deployment of electronic document exchange with partners, Vietnam has completed technical connection testing and exchanged test messages with the European Union for export customs declarations, exchanged electronic C/O information with Korea, and exchanged electronic certificates with New Zealand. The Vietnam Customs has completed and notified the ASEAN Secretariat about Vietnam's e-C/O Form D look-up function for businesses and relevant parties to look up information from August 2021 via the National Single Window Portal (http://vnsw.gov.vn)

Besides exchanging Certificate of Origin (C/O) data, the General Department of Vietnam Customs is also actively exchanging ASEAN Customs Declaration (ACDD) data through the ASEAN Single Window Mechanism. By May 2024, Vietnam has successfully sent and received data with 7 participating countries in the system, except Brunei due to occuring an error in the information direction sent from Vietnam. Vietnam will continue to coordinate with Brunei to fix the technical error and complete the process in May 2024. Therefore, except for Laos, which has not yet connected to the system due to limitations in technical infrastructure and technology, Vietnam has connected with all 8 other ASEAN countries.

By Ngọc Linh/Thanh Thuy

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