VCN – Despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused difficulties and seriously affected import and export activities as well as customs operations, Hanoi Customs Department accompanied businesses to overcome difficulties and gained outstanding achievements in trade turnover and state budget revenue in 2021.
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In 2021, in addition to reforms to support enterprises in clearance of goods, Hanoi Customs Department focused on combating smuggling, trade fraud, and drug crimes to create a fair business environment.
Thereby, the department handled 794 cases of customs law violations and nine cases of smuggling, imposed administrative fines of VND10.8 billion and collected VND1.2 billion of tax arrears; handled 22 cases of illegal drug transportation and seized nearly 160kg of drugs of all kinds and arrested 21 suspects.
With those outstanding results, in 2021, Hanoi Customs Department was honored for achievements in drug prevention and control by Hanoi City Party Committee and People's Committee, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Security and the General Department of Customs.
Flexible solutions to support businesses
Director of Hanoi Customs Department Duong Phu Dong said that in 2021, facing the developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, the department guided its units to both ensure customs operations and pandemic control; issued solutions to remove difficulties and obstacles for enterprises to restore, maintain and promote production and business.
From the beginning of the year, the department developed many plans and solutions to facilitate import and export activities of enterprises in the areas under its management; worked with agencies of Hanoi and Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh provinces (areas managed by Hanoi Customs) to implement solutions to support enterprises in customs clearance.
To realize the "dual goals", Hanoi Customs Department has actively developed backup plans to help businesses cope with the Covid-19 pandemic at departmental and branch levels.
Hanoi Customs established a working team to monitor the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic at the department and at its branches to quickly review and handle difficulties and problems related to customs operations.
Hanoi customs built a supplementary unit that can take over tasks of a unit which is affected by Covid-19; issued a rotating shift work regime to ensure social distancing; arranged work-from-home officers; provided protective equipment; organized vaccinations for customs officers; and strictly implemented anti-pandemic measures at all workplaces.
In July 2021, as Hanoi applied social distancing measures, the Hanoi Customs Department offered solutions and built a plan to handle customs procedures amid the Covid-19 pandemic and create maximum convenience for customs clearance while ensuring the inspection and supervision of goods and fast customs clearance of goods used for pandemic prevention and control in accordance with regulations and instructions of the General Department of Customs.
Manager of Vinh Phuc Customs Branch Dang Hoang Diep said most customs officers of Vinh Phuc customs branch live in Hanoi, so their travel to work encountered many difficulties due to requirements on control of travel between Hanoi and Vinh Phuc.
Therefore, to ensure the prompt handling of customs clearance procedures, Vinh Phuc Customs Branch arranged a separate working room for customs officers at Hanoi Department's headquarters to handle customs clearance procedures and arranged sufficient customs officers to carry out the clearance of import and export goods at the branch during the social distancing period.
Similar to Vinh Phuc, to maintain customs clearance during social distancing, Hanoi Customs Department also arranged a working room at the headquarters for Hoa Binh Customs Branch to perform customs procedures and customs clearance for enterprises.
For import-export businesses in the area, especially those trading in goods for pandemic prevention and control, the department received and cleared goods quickly.
Focusing on "smart customs model"
Along with efforts to realize the assigned tasks, in 2021, Hanoi Customs Department proactively focused on studying and following policies of the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs on the "smart customs model" project, the department set up a team to study and develop a smart customs model, reported to the General Department on studying and proposing customs operations on smart customs associated with the characteristics of the Hanoi Customs Department; built nine customs procedures and consulted on building another 45 procedures assigned by the General Department of Customs.
Duong Phu Dong said Hanoi Customs Department was the first unit reporting to the General Department of Customs the results of the study and proposal to deploy a "smart customs model" associated with the practical operations of Hanoi Customs Department, which has been recognized and highly appreciated by the Director of the General Department of Customs.
With many drastic solutions, the number of declarations processed by Hanoi customs still rose by 12.4%, while turnover rose 29.1% year-on-year to US$61.38 billion.
In 2021, Hanoi Customs Department has succeeded in the budget task. As of December 20, the department earned VND27,800 billion, exceeding 20.9% of the estimate, rising 21.15% year-on-year. Particularly in Hanoi, the revenue rose 25.86% year-on-year to VND21,845 billion, exceeding 17.4% of the estimate.
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It is expected that by December 31, 2021, the Department will collect VND28,000 billion, exceeding 21% of the estimate assigned by the Ministry of Finance and 12.9% of the target assigned by the General Department of Customs. This is the highest revenue recorded in the past five years.
By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang