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Expecting that National Single Window, specialised inspection will continue to improve

18:23 | 12/11/2022

VCN - With the desire to further facilitate the business community in the process of carrying out procedures related to import and export activities, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs will coordinate with related ministries and sectors to promote simplification and reform of specialised inspection procedures for imported and exported goods.

Deputy General Director of the General Department of Customs Hoang Viet Cuong spoke at the workshop. Photo: Quang Hung
Deputy General Director of the General Department of Customs Hoang Viet Cuong spoke at the workshop. Photo: Quang Hung

In the context of being affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and unpredictable fluctuations of the global economy and politics, importing and exporting goods is still an area with outstanding achievements in Vietnam recently. According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam's total import and export turnover in 2021 reached $668.5 billion, up 22.6% over the previous year. Generally, in the first nine months of 2022, goods' total import and export turnover will reach $558.52 billion, which is expected to reach over $700 billion for the whole year.

Mr Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of Vietnam Federation of Trade and Industry: Enterprises want more reforms

In addition to the positive results achieved in the past time, the survey results also show that businesses continue to expect ministries and sectors to make more efforts to improve the effectiveness of the National Single Window and promote reforming specialised inspection and management procedures to facilitate trade for the business community. Specifically:

For the operation of the National Single Window Portal: ministries and branches need to regularly update new policies and regulations on the Portal; the operator needs to upgrade the Gate, integrate more services and utilities on the Gate, improve the way to collect and promptly handle technical problems and problems that enterprises often encounter; Simplify the process of carrying out administrative procedures, etc.

For the field of specialised inspection and management: Ministries and branches need to continue to reduce and simplify the stages in the specialised inspection process, from submitting dossiers, checking records, taking samples and results announcements, entirely and widely apply the principles of risk management to create better conditions for enterprises with a good history of compliance; minimise overlaps between specialised inspection regulations.

In addition, enterprises also suggested that the implementation of the National Single Window should be faster and more thorough to minimise the required documents, switch to digitisation, and avoid the situation that enterprises both have to declare information on the National Single Window Portal and have to go through the procedures directly at the state management agency. State agencies also need to have a mechanism to connect and share information to avoid duplicate requests with enterprises. At the same time, it is necessary to continue to minimise the unregulated costs for businesses.

Deputy General Director of General Department of Customs Hoang Viet Cuong: The General Department of Customs continues to coordinate and cooperate with ministries and branches.

In 2022, the General Department of Customs will continue coordinating with the VCCI and the TFP Project to deploy the "Survey on the satisfaction of enterprises in carrying out administrative procedures through the National Single Window, management and specialised examination procedures in 2021".

The report on the survey results analysed the advantages and disadvantages of the National Single Window, pointed out the shortcomings and obstacles in the implementation of the procedures of each relevant ministry and sector on the Single Window as well such as shortcomings and problems in specialised management and inspection; thereby proposing solutions to overcome limitations in procedures, implementation methods to further facilitate import and export activities of the business community as well as in the coming time.

With the desire to further facilitate the business community in the process of carrying out procedures related to import and export activities, is the agency assigned by the Government to assume the prime responsibility for implementing the National Single Window and is the the focal point for the implementation of the Project "Reforming the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods", the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs have been and will make great efforts to coordinate, cooperate with relevant ministries and branches to accelerate the reform of administrative procedures and modernise the procedure implementation stages on the National Single Window Portal in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this mechanism as well as actively promote the implementation of the Project "Reform of the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods", towards the goal of comprehensive and substantive reform of specialised inspection for imported goods, in order to create maximum advantages for enterprises in import and export activities.

The General Department of Customs hopes that through this report, ministries, branches and related parties can have an objective view of specialised inspection and management procedures for import and export goods and the implementation of these administrative procedures of their agencies in the National Single Window, thereby identifying shortcomings and obstacles to have more breakthrough reform solutions.

Mr Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that these figures show the extraordinary efforts of Vietnamese enterprises. Simultaneously, this result also reflects the outstanding efforts of the General Department of Customs, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries and branches in reforming administrative procedures and facilitating enterprises' import and export activities.

According to a representative of VCCI, the survey results show that businesses continue to expect ministries and sectors to make more efforts to improve the efficiency of the NSW Gate and speed up the reform of specialised inspection and management procedures to create commercial advantages for the business community.

Deputy Head of the Customs Modernization and Reform Commission Luong Khanh Thiet said that with the attention and drastic direction of the Government and the Prime Minister and the implementation efforts of ministries, branches, and management, Specialised inspections for import and export goods have achieved many significant reforms, recognised by the business community.

Specifically, many legal documents on specialised management and inspection of imported and exported goods have been amended, supplemented, annulled or promulgated in the direction of reform and favourable conditions for enterprises. In addition, ministries and branches have initially applied the principle of risk management in specialised inspection activities at different levels and forms.

Many ministries and branches change the quality inspection time for imported goods from pre-inspection to post-inspection. In addition, many specialised inspection and management procedures are electronic. Many overlapping regulations in specialised testing have also been dealt with. As a result, the percentage of shipments subject to inspection decreased in 2021.

In addition, to create a breakthrough in specialised inspection for import and export goods, the General Department of Customs has advised the Ministry of Finance to submit to the Prime Minister for promulgation Decision No. 38/QD-TTg dated January 12, 2021 approved the project "Reforming the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods". On that basis, from 2021 up to now, the General Department of Customs will focus on developing and submitting to the Government a draft Decree stipulating the management mechanism, methods, order and procedures for state inspection of quality and State inspection of food safety for imported goods as the basis for implementing reform contents in Decision No. 38/QD-TTg.

The report on the satisfaction of enterprises with implementing new specialised management and inspection procedures by VCCI in collaboration with the General Department of Customs published on November 3 clearly shows these results.

Typical of this is the assessment of enterprises on the impact of implementation on the time and cost of compliance with specialised inspection procedures. Specifically, with the cost level measured on a scale of 1-10, in terms of time, if applying the traditional method, the declaration of profile information is assessed at 5-5.04 points; receiving and processing dossiers is rated at 5-5.20 points, these two important stages are scored by enterprises with 3-3.25 points and 3-3.52 points if implemented on the NSW Portal. Similar to cost, the declaration of profile information is rated at 4.48-5 points; receiving and processing dossiers at 4,91-5 points if applying the traditional method and reaching 2-3,1 points and 3-3.27 points if done on the Portal.

The survey conducted by VCCI and the General Department of Customs related to specialised inspection also recorded some reflections from the business community. Most strongly support the efforts of the Ministry of Finance, in particular the Customs sector, in reforming specialised inspection. However, according to the survey results, only 60% of enterprises are satisfied with the feedback from specialised management agencies. This number of enterprises suggested that ministries and branches with specialised inspection procedures should cooperate with the General Department of Customs focal agency to build a national inquiry point mechanism on customs procedures and specialised investigation. In this mechanism, support personnel should include representatives of Customs and all relevant ministries and sectors.

The survey results also show that implementing several stages in specialised inspection activities through the NSW Portal helps reduce the time and cost mentioned above. Therefore, businesses want the implementation of NSW to be carried out faster and more thoroughly to minimise the paperwork to be submitted and to switch to digital forms as much as possible.

On November 3, the Vietnam Confederation of Trade and Industry (VCCI), in collaboration with the General Department of Customs and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a seminar to announce the results of the "Survey on enterprises' satisfaction about implementing administrative procedures through NSW and specialised management and inspection procedures in 2021".

This is an activity to improve NSW's operational efficiency in receiving and handling administrative procedures for businesses, as well as reducing unnecessary burdens on businesses in carrying out management and specialised inspection procedures, thereby creating more favourable conditions for the import-export business community in Vietnam.

The survey was conducted with two main parts: For the survey on the implementation of administrative procedures on the NSW Portal, by April 2022, there were 12 administrative procedures of 5 ministries and sectors being made; the implementation of specialised management and inspection procedures were surveyed together with the procedures of 10 specialised management ministries. Recommendations, including enhanced guidance for businesses, regular updates on policies and regulations and question-and-answer functions, will be submitted to the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window, NSW Mechanism and trade facilitation, relevant ministries and sectors for consideration.

By N.Linh – Q.Hùng/Phương Linh