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Enterprises have not made use of benefits from Authorised Economic Operator programme

20:08 | 31/07/2021

VCN – The Deputy General Director of Deloitte Vietnam Bui Ngoc Tuan spoke to Customs News about benefits of Authorised Economic Operator programme.

General Department of Customs listens to comments on General Department of Customs listens to comments on "authorized economic operator" program
AEOs are not exempted from submiting documents of customs dossier AEOs are not exempted from submiting documents of customs dossier
68 Authorized Economic Operators in import – export activities 68 Authorized Economic Operators in import – export activities
Enterprises have not made use of benefits from Authorised Economic Operator programme
Deputy General Director of the Audit and Advisory firm Deloitte Vietnam Bui Ngoc Tuan.

Could you tell us about benefits of Authorised Economic Operator programme?

Per the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Trade (SAFE Framework), the benefits of Authorised Economic Operator programme include two groups.

The first are common benefits, including policies to slash administrative procedures and time for goods delivery and storage, and give priorities for accessing and exchanging information with the Government and authorities.

The second are specific benefits for each party in imports and exports, including exporters, importers, warehousing service providers, logistics service providers.

The current regulations on Authorised Economic Operator have provided common benefits like exemption from document inspection and physical inspection for goods in customs process in case of incomplete declarations, and time limit for customs dossier submission and tax payment.

Could you assess about Authorised Economic Operator programme in Vietnam and its positive impacts for enterprises’ operation?

According to Deloitte, the current mechanism has helped simplify procedures and save time in customs process, bringing significant benefits in cash flow management, cutting logistics costs, and boosting business operation, imports and exports.

Authorised Economic Operator programme is an effective solution to cut costs and enhance supply chain efficiency, especially for medium and large enterprises amid the complicated development of Covid-19.

Requirements applied to Authorised Economic Operators are still open. If enterprises meet conditions of import and export turnover, they will be eligible to enjoy this programme.

In addition, as an Authorised Economic Operator, the operator will be able to participate in the Authorised Economic Operator programme. The programme includes leading operators in Vietnam which have a great influence on the socio-economic situation in many localities.

Therefore, when participating in this programme, operators will have opportunity to do business cooperation, share practical experience in business management and import-export activities, and contribute to development and Government of policies, including tax and customs policies.

Regarding international trade, the Authorised Economic Operator programme may be considered as a Guarantee Certificate of reliability, economic capacity, and legal compliance of operators.

In the near future, Vietnam will apply Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with South Korea and ASEAN member states, Vietnam's Authorised Economic Operators may increase their competitiveness in the international market, and further access many new and potential investors in partner countries.

As an effective programme, however the number of Authorised Economic Operators in Vietnam is still insignificant. Could you explain this?

The benefits of this programme cannot be denied. However, only more than 70 are recognised as Authorised Economic Operators in Vietnam after more than 10 years of implementation.

Most of those are FDI firms with high import-export turnover. The reason for this is that enterprises do not understand the regulations and have not had the opportunity to verify the programme’s benefits.

The regulations for applying this programme specified in Circular 72/2015 and Circular 07/2020 of the Ministry of Finance should be specified, creating favourable conditions for enterprises in assessing their ability to meet conditions.

For example, Circular 72 provides import and export turnover, but it has not yet specified calculation methods. Some enterprises that nearly achieve the required import and export turnover, voices concerns about satisfying requirements.

After six years of implementation, Circular 72 still has some obstacles to achieve the trade facilitation goals of the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Although the circular provides key contents of the SAFE Framework, it still has differences from the regulations on Authorised Economic Operator programme in Vietnam and international practices.

Could have any recommendation increasing number of Authorised Economic Operators in Vietnam in the near future?

The Government is asking the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs to amend Decree 08/2015 to be consistent with the transactions and operations of enterprises, including content related to Authorised Economic Operator.

Many enterprises may be eligible for recognising as Authorised Economic Operator, but they have not yet learned and made use of benefits from the programme. Some enterprises even wait for the revision of the legal framework.

In the near future, the benefits of this programme may be more specific. However, requirements for application may be closer to international practice.

Recently, the Customs authority has suspended the programme for some operators that have not been up to requirements.

By Hoai Anh/ Ngoc Loan