VCN – The volume of imported goods screened at HCM City seaports has sharply increased. HCM City Customs Department has improved the efficiency of goods inspection amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Customs officials of HCM City Customs Department inspect goods via scanners.
Heightening awareness of law compliance
In the first half of 2021, 12,300 containers were screened by Customs. The number of suspect containers was 1,559, accounting for 12.66%. The number of containers requested for screening increased by 9,563 compared with 2020.
To support import and export enterprises, HCM City Customs Department has taken risk assessment measures for residents and goods based on analysing the frequency and suspicious signs, and exchanged information with other units to prevent trade fraud.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) has allocated five container scanners to three seaport customs branches under HCM City Customs Department and used norm-based screening.
The total screening norm for the container scanners of HCM City Customs Department is 280 containers per day.
The department is assigned to perform screening of least 112 containers per day.
Accordingly, the Risk Management Division is assigned to perform screening for 70 containers per day and 420 containers per week, while 1st Zone Sai Gon Seaport Customs Branch and Customs Enforcement Team implements screening for 21 containers per day and 126 containers per week.
Suspicious screening images have been sent to customs units where enterprises opened customs declarations to identify violations. The list of screened containers has been published on the GDVC’s website, aiming to preventing offences.
Pre-screening not only detects violations but also a measure to inspect and assess law compliance of customs declarants.
Removing obstacles to improve efficiency
To improve the efficiency of container screening and the detection rate of violations, the Risk Management Division under HCM City Customs Department has proposed using an information technology system for screening, as customs officers send information and images via email, wasting time and resources.
The division has also asked to review the assessment method of screening efficiency.
In addition, they need a system to standardise information and connect operational process to assess risks and select container for screening.
Specific requirements on handling suspicious containers those are still stored at seaports should be issued to prevent offences and backlogs of goods.
By Le Thu/ Ngoc Loan