Hanoi Customs finds solutions to improve quality of customs brokers

VCN - Hanoi Customs Department manages up to 24.3% of the total number of customs brokers nationwide, however the number of customs brokers not providing service activities is still high. This requires both businesses and Customs to find more solutions to increase the operational efficiency of customs brokers.
Hanoi Customs makes great efforts to collect revenue Hanoi Customs makes great efforts to collect revenue
Drastically implementing solutions for budget collection Drastically implementing solutions for budget collection
Hanoi Customs accompanies logistics businesses Hanoi Customs accompanies logistics businesses
Customs officers of Gia Thuy Customs Branch at work. Photo: N.L
Customs officers of Gia Thuy Customs Branch at work. Photo: N.L

Customs brokers have not promoted their strengths

Deputy Head of the Customs Control and Supervision Division (Hanoi Customs Department) Nguyen Thi Thu Huong said that the unit manages 379 customs brokers recognized by the General Department of Customs (accounting 24.3% of the total number of customs brokers nationwide). Almost 249 of them are operating; 102 have stopped operation; 28 have suspended operation.

In the first 6 months of the year alone, the total number of declarations through customs brokers is more than 15.7 million with a total import-export turnover of US$8.52 billion. Of which, more than 15.1 million declarations were made for express postal goods with a total turnover of about US$1.29 billion; Other import and export declarations were nearly 589,000 with a total turnover of US$7.23 billion.

According to Hanoi Customs Department, the number of customs brokers in the area has increased significantly. If in 2018 there were 208 recognized customs brokers, by 2023 there are 379 accredited ones.

However, 130 of 379 customs brokers have terminated/ suspended their operations; 169 do not have import-export service activities according to three criteria: no customers no import-export declarations and no import-export turnover. 80 enterprises have import and export activities, the number of active agents is smaller than the registered but have not carried out customs procedures at Hanoi Customs Department.

Notably, currently only customs brokers are b postal and express delivery service providers who use broker’s digital signatures to carry out customs procedures for customers, other agents only provide declaration services for customers.

Assessing the law compliance level, a representative of the Customs Control and Supervision Department said that only 9.23% of customs brokers properly and fully comply with the regulations; 51.8% of them did not submit reports on time for three consecutive periods.

Finding solutions to push down warehouse costs

Also in the field of import-export services, warehouse, yard, port and logistics activities also play a huge role in goods clearance activities.

According to Hanoi Customs Department as of November 7, there are 54 warehouses, yards and locations in operation under Decree 68/2016/ND-CP (amended and supplemented at Decree 67/2020/ND-CP); 26 express delivery service providers; 28 inspection points at construction sites and production establishments of enterprises implementing investment and production projects. The number of warehouses, yards and locations in operation also rose from 25 in 2018 to 54 in 2023.

From 2019 to 2022, import and export service providers registered nearly 4.2 million declarations with import and export turnover reaching about US$194.829 million at 12 customs branches under the Hanoi Customs Department. According to Hanoi Customs Department, the majority of warehouse, yard and port operators in the area strictly comply with law.

However, transportation costs, warehouse rental costs, and location costs in the Department's area, especially in Hanoi, are still higher than those in other provinces and cities. According to the Customs Control and Supervision Department, although the Hanoi Customs Department has had many solutions to facilitate it, due to the high cost, the number of customs brokers in the area is still low.

To facilitate trade for import-export service providers, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong said, Hanoi Customs will assign customs officers to control and supervise goods; arrange customs officers at warehouses and inspection locations to support businesses in fast good clearance and release. At the same time, the department will quickly resolve problems; accompany businesses in reporting and monitoring the handling of problems beyond the department's authority; and regularly monitor and synthesize problems for border gate transfer declarations; proactively work with customs units outside the border gate to resolve problems.

Customs branches under Hanoi Customs Department shall take measures to develop Customs-Business partnership such as establishing a 3-party connection channel: import-export enterprises - customs - customs brokers to promptly receive and handle problems. At the same time, the Customs branches shall sign an agreement to develop partnerships with business associations, focusing on enhancing information sharing and assisting in resolving problems, and providing in-depth training in a number of sectors.

Specifically, at Gia Thuy Customs Branch, the leader of the customs branch has closely assigned tasks to each team in creating the best conditions for import and export work, reducing customs clearance time and focusing on work efficiency rather than work duration". The unit also works with the port operators on facilitating means of transport, cutting service fees, reducing loading and unloading time, and arranging officers, equipment and technical facilities for inspection work. The unit has adjusted fees three times and improve the quality of service for businesses carrying out customs procedures.

At the North Hanoi Customs Branch, the leader said that any problem arising after hours will be solved, to avoid affecting import and export progress of businesses.

By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang

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