New chance for transporting transit goods between ASEAN countries

VCN – A draft of Decree on stipulating customs procedure, inspection and customs supervision for transit goods via ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) has been developed by Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs).
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Deputy Director General Vu Ngoc Anh made a speech at the workshop. Photo: N.Linh

This Decree aims to domesticize the contents of the Protocol 7 about Customs Transit System as well as establishing legal basis for facilitating to set up effective transit system among ASEAN country members.

In order to collect opinions of some local customs units about new regulations related to goods transit, on March 13, the General Department of Vietnam Customs organized a workshop to collect feedback on draft regulations stipulating customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision of goods in transit through the ASEAN Customs Transit System.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Vu Ngoc Anh said that besides competitive challenges from transportation enterprises in ASEAN countries, Vietnamese enterprises also have great opportunities. The reason is favorable geographical position of Vietnam, promising to be a potential transit place for goods of other countries in the region when exporting to other countries. This also opens the door for Vietnam to develop transit services.

Furthermore, to clarify issues relating to establishment process of draft Decree, Mr. Nguyen Nhat Kha, Deputy Director of the Customs Supervision and Management Department said that the Protocol 7 is the protocol that stipulates customs clearance, customs inspection and supervision system for goods in transit between ASEAN countries. This is a new regulation with Vietnam Customs. Thus, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) has been assigned to develop a draft of decree regulating customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision of transit goods through the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) .

The ACTS system is installed in ASEAN countries. "The place that transit goods pass, there is available information in the system. Therefore, when Vietnam joins the 7th Protocol, there will be a new customs management system for managing transit goods," Mr. Kha said.

Besides that, the new point in the draft decree is to stipulate the starting point and end of the transit process. At present, the starting point and the ending point for transit goods are at the border Customs Branch, the inland customs branches only carry out the separation and packaging of transit goods. However, for the ASEAN transit system, the starting point and ending point are inland.

For example, imported goods that originated from Thailand through Laos then arrive in Vietnam. Previously, the process of transporting transit shipment stopped at border gates, and then the companies completed import procedure for entering Vietnam. However, it would change to goods that are brought into Vietnam territory, and then a company will implement import procedures. The change in customs management is a challenge for both customs authorities and the business community of transporting goods in transit.

Moreover, another different point compared to the current transit regulations is tax guarantee. The current regulations for transit goods do not require tax guarantees. However, within the framework of Protocol No. 7, among ASEAN countries they do. Accordingly, in the draft decree arising to the guarantee and the guarantor agencies....

Before the new points that related to the implementation of the 7th Protocol and the draft decree regulating customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision of goods in transit through the ACTS system was drafted, were presented at the workshop, many representatives of a number of customs units contributed many ideas to ensure the customs management as well as facilitate businesses in the transit of goods.

This Decree is expected to be completed and submitted to the Government for issuance in August 2015. In that, the draft has many new regulations compared to current practice.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy

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