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Expectations of a "revolution" in reforming specialised inspection procedures - Part 2: Is it normal to be slow in releasing inspection results?

08:34 | 22/05/2021

VCN - For a long time, the problems of late submission of specialized inspection results for imported goods, leading to enterprises being fined, are not uncommon.

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Professional activities at Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch. Photo: Thu Hòa

Continuing the stories we have heard from people engaged in the import and export business, Mr. Le Phu Duy from Makita Vietnam Company, said that it was quite lucky that the headquarters of the company was in Hanoi.

Therefore, the process of applying for a license of specialized inspection for items such as computer screens and machine components conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology only took about 10 days. Contrary to many businesses in the southern region, the travel was quite difficult. These costs were not low, forcing businesses to include the costs in the product prices, leading to reduced competitiveness.

Regularly implementing procedures at Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, Savina Joint Stock Company, said that the company specialized in importing motorcycles that were subject to quality inspection in accordance with regulations, especially emissions inspection.

However, at present, foreign countries were implementing EURO4, preparing to apply EURO5, while in Vietnam, it has just applied EURO3, so the emission inspection, in this case, is "warped", sometimes enterprises have to test many times to pass and it costs a lot of money.

Mr. Duong Dinh Phong, Import-Export Department of Omega Agriculture Co., Ltd., an enterprise that regularly imports organic fertilizers, said each import shipment is subject to quality tests. According to the process, when registering a customs declaration, an enterprise must register for an inspection at a specialized management agency to submit together with a customs dossier. After being allowed to bring the goods back for preservation and waiting for the inspection results, the enterprise must contact to get the results and submit the results to the Customs authorities for implementing customs clearance for the shipment. However, in reality, the delay of quality inspection results is common due to overloads at the inspection agency.

Indeed, it is not difficult to find information about the penalties imposed by the Customs authority for those cases that are not allowed to bring goods for preservation due to violations of the regulations on late submission of specialized inspection results as specified in Clause 1 of this Article. 6, Article 32 of Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC amending and supplementing Clause 21, Article 1 of Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance.

According to Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, by the end of 2020, the border-gate and outside border-gate customs branches detected 167 enterprises violating the specialized management policy. Previously, the number of violating enterprises was about 260. Although the number of violating enterprises decreased, there were dozens of cases that have not submitted the inspection results to the Customs authorities for many years as prescribed.

Among the above enterprises, 157 enterprises were allowed to bring back goods for preservation while waiting for specialized inspection results, but the results were not submitted within 30 days. At the same time, there were 10 enterprises that submitted overdue specialized inspection results and were sanctioned by Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and were not allowed to bring their goods to preservation within 6 months from the date of the sanctioning decision issuance.

Notably, in the list of enterprises that violated the policy on specialized management, most of the enterprises owed the specialized inspection results in the field of registry. According to regulations, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has sent the list of violating enterprises to local Customs units throughout the country to coordinate in implementing sanctions against enterprises violating specialized inspections.

That was a cause from the business side, and from the quality inspection agency, they are also slow in sending results to the customs authorities. At the end of 2020, the General Department of Vietnam Customs sent documents to the ministries including Science and Technology, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Transport to reflect the late submission of inspection results.

According to the provisions of Article 35 of Law on Customs: in case that goods are subject to specialized inspection for quality, health, culture, animal and plant quarantine, and food safety for imported goods and means of transport, the customs authority shall base on the inspection results of the specialized inspection agency to decide to implement customs clearance. The time limit for specialized inspection of goods shall comply with relevant laws. The specialized inspection agency or organization is responsible for notifying the inspection results to the customs authority within two working days of the date of the inspection result issuance.

According to the provisions of Clause 16, Article 1 of Decree 59/2018/ND-CP dated April 20, 2018 of the Government (amending and supplementing Decree 08/2015/ND-CP dated January 25, 2015), within 10 days from the date of issuance of the certificate of specialized inspection registration or the date of taking samples for conducting specialized inspection, unless regulation of specialized inspection provided different provisions, the specialized management authority, agency or authorized organization must have inspection results and send them to the Customs authority as prescribed in Article 35 of Law on Customs or send to the National Single Window Portal in the case that inspection agency has an information technology system connected to National Single Window Portal, so that customs authority can decide to implement customs clearance for cargo shipment.

If it is beyond the prescribed time limit, the specialized management authority, agency or organization has not made specialized inspection conclusion yet, they must send a document clearly stating the reason and the date of issuing a specialized inspection conclusion and send it to the customs authority.

The regulations are stated clearly, in fact, as reflected by a number of customs departments of provinces and cities, many shipments have been brought back to be preserved while waiting for specialized inspection and have expired but they have not received notification of inspection results.

A number of inspection agencies and organizations sent documents to respond to the delay in notifying the inspection results but they did not specify the time of issuing inspection results, leading to many imported consignments that have not been cleared by customs, causing difficulties for customs management and supervision, enterprises have not been able to put goods into the market.

Moreover, the Customs has discovered many cases that goods are allowed to be brought to the warehouse of the enterprise for preservation, waiting for the results of quality inspection, but the enterprise has intentionally consumed the goods when there is no information of inspection results.

By group of reporters/Thanh Thuy