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Lang Son pioneers to deploy digital border gate

09:07 | 20/09/2021

VCN - Lang Son province is piloting a digital border gate platform, which will automate the process, reduce the time of firms for customs clearance, and strengthen the management and supervision of State agencies.

Huu Nghi Customs officer (Lang Son Customs Department) receives and guides firms to carry out procedures for transporting imported goods into the yard. Photo: H.Nu
Huu Nghi Customs officer (Lang Son Customs Department) receives and guides firms to carry out procedures for transporting imported goods into the yard. Photo: H.Nu

“Digitalising” procedures at the border gate

The implementation of the digital border gate platform is a breakthrough in the digital transformation roadmap in Lang Son province, aiming to soon put Lang Son in the group of 10 leading cities and provinces in the country in digital transformation by 2023. It is expected from September 25, the digital border gate platform will officially come into operation at Huu Nghi and Tan Thanh border gates.

In 2016-2020, Lang Son province mobilised more than VND 16,000 billion, of which nearly VND 4,000 billion from the budget, to focus on building infrastructure of the border gate economic zone. Based on the technical infrastructure system that has been invested in the border gate areas, Lang Son province has directed units to focus on developing, exploiting and managing effectively border trade infrastructure for many years. The provincial People's Committee has directed agencies and forces at the border gates to accelerate modernisation in a number of activities at border gates. The most obvious is the implementation of "digitisation" of administrative procedures in import and export activities.

According to Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department Nguyen Huu Vuong, since 2010, Customs in general and Lang Son Customs in particular have promoted the implementation of electronic customs declarations and from 2015 up to now, all procedures related to import and export goods of firms have been carried out through the VNACCS system. Up to this point, in the area managed by Lang Son Customs, more than 90% of firms participating in import and export activities through border gates in the province have declared through this system. The implementation of declaration on the system is completely automatic, helping firms take the initiative in time, reduce paperwork and declaration procedures, reducing customs clearance time and cutting costs for them, even they can supplement and correct promptly if errors are detected.

In addition to the application of advanced information technology systems to professional process by the Customs, over the years, Lang Son province has also spent a lot of resources to invest in functional areas, logistics services, through which, the import-export activities of goods, immigration of people and vehicles through border gates, including Huu Nghi international border gate and Tan Thanh border gate, have become increasingly open.

With the increasing demand for import and export goods in volume, the terminal infrastructure and logistics services at these two border gates are being overloaded. There were periods goods were locally congested at the border gate area, making it difficult for the management and supervision of import and export goods and means of transport by the management agencies. In addition, the congestion of goods also caused an increase of costs and time for firms, even damage due to damaged goods. In particular, during the peak season of harvesting agricultural products (from May to September), the situation of hundreds of trucks having to wait in hot weather, parking costs, accommodation, and fuel costs to maintain cold tanks had a significant impact on the "health" of firms.

Tran Thi Kim Oanh, representative of Hieu Hien Co., Ltd. shared, currently, only customs procedures for import-export goods were declared at any time, anywhere, but all other related procedures still had to be carried out directly by firms with parties at the border gate. In particular, all bookkeeping procedures must be done step by step, from the first step to the last which is to load the vehicle to China, still directly done by humans.

According to Tran Thi Kim Oanh, the pilot implementation of the digital border gate platform was very good, because firms only needed to register and declare fully and completely on the system, all information about vehicles, number plates... were forewarned, which would greatly reduce cumbersome procedures, travel time and other types of informal costs. In addition, firms could also track the details, specifically the route and customs clearance process of import and export vehicles on smartphones, which was one of the advantages that helped to minimise the delivery time for Chinese partners.

Therefore, pilot implementation of the digital border gate platform by Lang Son province, changing the operating way were not only the desire of all management agencies and functional forces responsible for management and supervision at the border gate area but also the desire of many firms doing import and export business.

Expecting to operate from September 25

To solve remaining limitations, Lang Son is the first province to set goals and set plans to develop and transform digital transformation ideas under the National Digital Transformation Program. Lang Son set the task of implementing key digital transformation in the border gate economic zone, with the support of automated processes. The development of a digital border gate is not beyond the purpose of connecting all relevant agencies such as the Traffic Police, the Customs, the Border Guard with firms through a digital platform.

Nguyen Khac Lich, Director of the Department of Information and Communications of Lang Son province, said that by putting the two-way platform into operation, the authorities at the border gate could understand how many cargo trucks were going to the border gate area to regulate, thereby proactively handling solutions to prevent traffic jams in the border gate area. Firms also knew how many vehicles were in the border area, the status of customs clearance at that time to regulate the number of trucks carrying goods to the border gate. With a digital border gate platform, managers and firms only had a smart phone connected to the internet to be able to track details and specific route and clearance process of vehicles carrying import and export goods.

Up to now, Lang Son Department of Information and Communications is working with Lang Son Telecommunications (the unit implementing the information technology system at the border gate) to complete the installation of four AI cameras connected to the digital border gate platform; connecting four traffic cameras along National Highway 1A from Huu Lung district to the border gate area, testing the functions of the digital border gate platform on the mobile app and on the website interface; testing the functions of the GPS connection, digital map, screening system, creating account, declaring information, operation process, online payment, transmission quality, operation quality of devices; inspecting and evaluating information security, installing system software, guiding units and firms to use the software.

With the implementation of the digital border gate platform, the People's Committee of Lang Son province hopes to be open and transparent in management activities at the border gate, serving the direction and administration of leaders at all levels and administrative reform, to better serve people and firms participating in import-export activities.

In particular, with the digital border gate platform, the process will be changed to enhance automation and minimise human impacts in border gate operations; application of digital technology in the overall and comprehensive management of activities at the border gate. This means using a single digital platform system with high stability, and ensuring information security, developing and providing digital services for firms based on the digital border gate platform.

By Nụ Bùi/ Binh Minh