GDVC and ABF hold bilateral meeting and signing ceremony of Investigation Cooperation Plan

VCN – Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) and Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) hold the bilateral meeting and signing ceremony of the Investigation Cooperation Plan on May 7 at the GDVC’s headquarters.
GDVC and ABF hold bilateral meeting and signing ceremony of Investigation Cooperation Plan
The bilateral meeting between the GDVC and ABF. Photo: H.N

The event was participated by GDVC’s Director General Nguyen Van Can; Director of the International Cooperation Department Dao Duc Hai; Deputy Director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department Dao Duy Tam; Director of the Risk Management Department Nguyen Nhat Kha; Deputy Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department Vu Quang Toan; Deputy Director of Post Clearance Audit Department Tran Xuan Loc.

Mr. Michael Outram, ABF Commissioner; Mr. Michael Cymbalista, ABF Counselor to Thailand in charge of the Mekong region; Ms. Vanessa Bell, ABF Attaché at the Australian Embassy to Vietnam; Mr. Mai Van Kien, Head of Department, in charge of Home Affairs, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam attended the event.

Achievements in cooperation

The meeting aims to review and evaluate cooperation activities between the two customs administrations over the past time and make cooperation plans in the future. This is the first meeting between the two highest-ranking leaders of GDVC and ABF.

The two leaders reviewed and evaluated cooperative activities as well as discussed specifically cooperation plans between the two sides in the coming time.

At the meeting, the leaders of the two Customs administrations appreciated effective and close cooperation over the past time based on the Cooperation Program signed between the two sides in 2017. Accordingly, many practical programs and activities have been executed by the two authorities.

Director General Nguyen Van Can said that currently, Vietnam is one of the countries having open economy and economic cooperation with most countries in the world. Vietnam has participated in 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements in all regions. In addition, the country participates in most conventions and initiatives and always upholds obligations and responsibilities during the performance.

On March 7, Vietnam and Australia have upgraded their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which has made Australia as the 7th comprehensive strategic partner of Vietnam. Over the past years, Vietnam and Australia have achieved outstanding results in bilateral trade growth.

The two-way trade turnover in recent years reached about US$ 1 billion, making Australia the Vietnam’s 10th largest trading partner.

The achievement has showed great efforts of the two Customs administrations in facilitating legitimate trade for entities participating in the international supply chain, and effectively controlling the flow of goods across borders, ensuring trade compliance and preventing customs offences, Director General Nguyen Van Can said.

At the meeting, Commissioner Michael Outram highly appreciated the effective and close cooperation between the two administrations. Accordingly, ABF has sent the representative to work at the Australian Embassy to Vietnam to promote the friendly relationship and effective cooperation between the two administrations.

Currently, ABF builds the model 2.0 and focuses on reform of research and investigation. ABF is ready to share in-depth information for the two sides to grasp opportunity in the near future. ABF proposed a mechanism to create a foundation for the cooperation, making plans and providing information for enforcement of future customs generations, Commissioner Michael Outram said.

Promote in-depth investigation cooperation

On this occasion, in order to promote cooperation and exchange of professional information in the fight against customs offences, Director General Nguyen Van Can and Commissioner Michael Outram agreed to optimize trade facilitation for businesses of the two countries. As the leading authorities in border protection, the two Customs administrations will focus on customs control to achieve the goal of ensuring national security and safety.

In addition, to promote cooperation in anti-smuggling, the two sides have completed internal procedures to sign an Investigation Cooperation Plan to combat illegitimate trade activities such as smuggling and illegal transportation of goods, trade fraud, focusing on preventing drugs, cigarettes, controlled goods...

The Investigation Cooperation Plan will be the premise for the two sides to cooperate and exchange intelligence information, support investigations, and verify information related to Customs offences.

Director General Nguyen Van Can thanked ABF for the effective assistance within the framework of the Container Control Program and active participation and implementation under of the Operation Mekong Dragon that Vietnam Customs is a co-initiative member of the Operation.

Vietnam Customs proposed and expected ABF to support improving the capacity of Vietnam Customs' sniffer dog trainers, instruct dog breeding methods and provide sniffer dog breeds to Vietnam Customs.

Closing the meeting, the two sides agreed to regularly hold high-level meeting every two years to review results, evaluate and discuss the cooperation plans in the following period.

By Nu Bui/Ngoc Loan

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