HCM City Customs: Many creativitity in pandemic prevention and facilitating enterprises

VCN - Many customs branches of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department have created tools, equipment and plans for preventing the pandemic to ensure the clearance of goods, especially during the peak social distancing period.
hcm city customs many creativitity in pandemic prevention and facilitating enterprises
Document sterilising machine designed by HCM City Express Customs

Set up medical declaration kiosk at the gate

When implementing clearance procedures for shipments at the Investment/Processing Customs Branch amid social distancing, enterprises were quite surprised that after disinfecting hands, they were guided by the security guards to implement electronic medical declarations. It only took a few minutes for enterprises to complete the declaration of health status, travel schedules, contact history in the past. This was one of the creative ways the Customs Branch's leaders have been implementing since the first day of social distancing.

All enterprises who come to contact and implement customs procedures must declare medical information. To ensure the kiosks won’t be a source of infection because too many people are touching, a security guard is assigned to perform duty and ask people to disinfect their hands before and after they make a medical declaration and stand 2m apart.

According to manager Investment/Processing Customs Branch Nguyen Xuan Binh, apart from installing computers to support medical declarations at the entrance gate, the Customs Branch gave instructions to enterprises to conduct medical declarations before implementing customs procedures to avoid crowds. In the long run, updated information of enterprises would help the branch provide better management and service solutions for enterprises.

Not only at Investment/Processing Customs Branch, at the headquarters of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and all cargo clearance points at the border and outside border-gate customs branches have also deployed units in charge of instructions for medical declaration and disinfection at the entrance, ensuring pandemic prevention as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

"Necessity is the mother of invention"

Some customs branches of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department invented instruments, equipment and plans to prevent the pandemic to ensure fast but safe clearance of goods, especially amid social distancing.

At the HCM City Express Customs Branch, they must receive and complete procedures for thousands of postal parcels and documents of express mail service companies each day, besides requiring express mail service companies to perform disinfection of postal parcels, the customs branch has many creative ideas in receiving dossiers and documents of enterprises to avoid infection. According to Bui Thanh Hung, Deputy Manager of HCM City Express Customs Branch, the unit was receiving documents with a digital signature and stamp of express mail service companies and postal enterprises by scanned version sent via email and processing and responding through its information technology (IT) systems.

Along with that, HCM City Express Customs Branch created a group through the Viber app that connects leaders of the branch and the express mail service companies and postal enterprises to exchange necessary information as well as remove obstacles in cargo clearance.

The unit has purchased equipment, made a document sterilising machine at a very low cost, only 1/10 of selling price on the market. With this machine, all paper documents and dossiers of the enterprise that need to be submitted to the customs authority are sterilised.

Operate effectively through HCAS system

To carry out the work of administration and direct smoothly during social distancing, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has used the HCM City Customs Administration System (HCAS) to manage every task to limit contact and manage the working task of customs officials online who are arranged to work at home.

HCAS is a breakthrough project of strengthening the modernisation and reform based on strong application of information technology achievements on the basis of integration, cross-platform and internal administration management connecting with operational guidance and supporting professional operation (price data, quick HS code lookup and documents lookup). Along with that, this programme also supports to connect and exchange information between Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and other sectors in the city such as Tax Department and the Planning and Investment Department of Ho Chi Minh City, connecting professional activities with support and information provision for import and export enterprises, as well as the transactions of customs authority and enterprises through electronic transaction system.

With this programme, leaders at all levels can manage all activities of the unit through ITand leaders of Ministry of Finance, General Department of Vietnam Customs can supervise all activities of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, quickly exchanging and providing information of departments and branches in Ho Chi Minh City, while enterprises can get timely support through online transactions and customs officials are provided tools to help them perform their tasks faster and reduce the time for cargo clearance.

At the same time, the HCM City Customs Department uses teamwork applications on computers and smart devices, deploying digital signatures, issuing electronic documents, restricting signing documents directly and only directly signing for specific cases as prescribed.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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