Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Many initiatives to develop partnerships

VCN – In order to connect, accompany and support more than 50,000 import-export businesses through the area, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has had many initiatives to implement programs to connect and tighten the relationship between two sides.
The mark of Ho Chi Minh City Customs in attracting foreign investment The mark of Ho Chi Minh City Customs in attracting foreign investment
Ho Chi Minh City Customs issued directives on state budget collection Ho Chi Minh City Customs issued directives on state budget collection
Ho Chi Minh City Customs: Many initiatives to develop partnerships
Enterprises participating in the Trade Facilitation Project are allocated separate procedure areas. Photo: T.H

Save billions for businesses

As a customs agent for dozens of major partners, a representative of KCTC Vietnam Company said that each month the company clears more than 4,000 customs declarations at the High-Tech Park Customs Sub-department. With many ways to connect businesses of the Customs here by meeting directly, creating conditions for businesses to have many opportunities to exchange, share problems, as well as listen carefully to many instructions from Customs authorities to improve compliance with customs laws, etc.

One of the initiatives implemented by Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department to attract a large number of businesses to participate and save costs for businesses is the Trade Facilitation Project: "Customs procedures in Logistics and Preventing cargo congestion at Cat Lai port", implemented since 2019.

According to Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the subjects selected to participate in this project are customs agents and 200 businesses that well comply with customs laws, with a total import turnover of 21.7 billion USD, accounting for nearly 40% of total import turnover and tax contribution of 54,760 billion VND, accounting for 50.5% of total state budget revenue of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department.

The project is a new breakthrough demonstrating the determination of the leadership of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, concretizing the direction of leaders at all levels in rapid reform, strong modernization, and building a convenient service system of customs. At the same time, realizing the goal of reducing customs clearance time by 70%, saving costs for businesses and society estimated at 5,000 billion VND/year; Improve regional connectivity, increase the ability to circulate import and export goods from Cat Lai port to the belt area and neighboring provinces. In the future, the project will be expanded and applied to the business community that well obeys the law.

As an enterprise participating in the implementation of this project, a representative of Saigon Newport Corporation said that the unit together with the Customs agency arranged a convenient customs clearance area and applied information technology software to support businesses participating in the project to facilitate customs clearance procedures.

Along with the above initiative, to facilitate connecting businesses with state management agencies, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has researched and put into use the HCAS centralized management system. This program has been highly effective, especially during the period of social distancing. The Department's civil servants still ensure job completion and provide maximum support to businesses during the difficult period due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It can be said that HCAS is a breakthrough in reform and modernization based on the strong application of achievements of integrated, multi-platform information technology. Once completed, the System will have programs to support connection and information sharing between Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and local departments such as the Tax Department, Department of Planning and Investment, etc; Connect and exchange information for import-export businesses and customs agents quickly and promptly.

An important highlight in accompanying and developing partnerships with businesses is the practical initiatives applied at border and non-border customs Sub-departments. Typically, the Hi-Tech Park Customs Sub-department has implemented a form of dialogue and meeting with businesses under a new model called "Morning coffee with businesses" since September 2019. And it has been held periodically on the last Monday of the month, with the participation of key leaders of import-export businesses, customs clearance agents, and customs declaration services.

Due to the specific characteristics, the number of businesses that regularly carry out procedures through the High-Tech Park Customs Sub-department is not many, about 50 foreign-invested enterprises and export processing enterprises, including many priority enterprises. Therefore, the Sub-department chose the form of dialogue and meetings with businesses according to this new model, with content according to each topic so that information exchanged with businesses is updated more deeply and focused, as well as creating the connection between businesses and Customs authorities to discuss difficulties and problems of businesses to have timely solutions.

Digital transformation to connect more closely with businesses

According to Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department Do Thanh Quang, to develop partnerships with businesses, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has issued implementation plans each year. From 2016 up to now, the unit has continuously implemented the initiative "The Business Community and Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department are partners accompanying each other for development" thanks to the positive activities from Customs and businesses, the close relationship has been created and grown day by day.

At the same time, diversify forms of propaganda and solve problems for businesses, including the unit's Electronic Information Portal, with an average number of nearly 454,000 visitors per year. According to a survey by VCCI, with nearly 80% of businesses satisfied, the Electronic Information Portal of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is considered an effective and convenient source of information for businesses. This shows that the investment and development in online systems of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has brought positive results.

During 10 years of implementing the development of partnerships with businesses, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has organized consultations with businesses on problems in customs procedures, export and import tax policies, and other related solutions to overcome business difficulties with more than 1,275 consultations and answers in direct forms through seminars.

Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department also answered more than 29,538 problems through indirect forms such as answering questions sent to the Electronic Information Portal of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, through other forms such as emails and calls, and face-to-face meetings at Ho Chi Minh City Customs Sub-departmentes to answer questions from businesses. The Department has also proactively sent phone numbers to civil servants carrying out consultations in urgent cases that require assistance in removing special difficulties in handling customs procedures in general and price consultations in particular on the basis to enhance technology applications such as Zalo, Viber, etc.

In particular, to better support businesses, every year, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department also deploys a tool to evaluate business satisfaction with civil servants through questions about processing time and level of support and response from Customs authorities for customs procedure activities of businesses, transparency in inspection and supervision processes, and assessment of progress of administrative procedure reform and improvements operated by Customs authorities, etc.

By Le Thu/Phuong Linh

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