Suggestion for allowing quarantine procedure via national single window portal

VCN - The paper-based inspection for quarantine procedures takes a long time for importing goods and reduces the efficiency of the import-export reforms.
Chi cục Kiểm dịch thực vật vùng VII. Photo: T.Bình

Professional activities at Plan quarantine sub-department region VII (Lang Son). Photo: T.Bình

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) recently sent a document to the Department of International Law - Ministry of Justice to comment on the draft decree regulating State inspection of quality and food safety for imported goods.

According to VCCI, at Article 9.1 of the draft stipulates a number of procedures to be implemented on the National Single Window Portal, including procedures on quality inspection, food safety inspection, procedures for the registration of regulation conformity announcement, self-declaration of products and registration of product declaration for imported goods. As reflected by firms, besides the above procedures, quarantine procedures for imported goods also need to be carried out through the National Single Window Portal (for products subject to import procedures or products that must undergo both food safety inspection procedures and quarantine procedures).

According to businesses, this will unify the process of importing food products that must be done only through the National Single Window portal, contributing to business facilitation through saving time and costs for carrying out import procedures.

Currently, most imported food products are subject to both quarantine and food safety inspections. Meanwhile, food safety inspection procedure is reformed and implemented on the National Single Window, the quarantine procedures are still carried out on paper, it will divide a continuous group of procedures into two processes, two separate steps, thereby not reducing the time of importation significantly, and reducing the effectiveness of the import-export process reforms under the direction of Decision 38/QD-TTg in 2021.

Meanwhile, the addition of quarantine procedures to the National Single Window Portal is consistent with current regulations, specifically Article 13.1 of Circular 26/2016/TT-BNNPTNT (amended by Article 1.6 of Circular No. 36/2018/TT-BNNPTNT) allowing one of the forms of quarantine implementation via the National Single Window.

For the above reasons, VCCI proposed the drafting board amend and supplement regulations in the direction of allowing quarantine procedures to be carried out via the National Single Window.

VCCI also recommends that Article 16.6.b of the draft which stipulates that State authorities have the right to decide on one of three handling methods: force to re-export, destruction or recycling of goods in case inspection results of dossiers or certificates showed goods were not in accordance with national regulations and standards.

According to the VCCI, this regulation is not transparent because it is not clear what criteria the State agency should choose to handle imported goods that do not meet the requirements. Besides that, the selection of the State authority may not be suitable for the actual situation and enterprise’s demand, such as the requirement of the enterprise to re-export, but in fact, the firm has the ability to recycle goods.

Therefore, the VCCI proposed the drafting board amend the regulations in the direction of allowing enterprises to choose the form of handling and State agencies only carry out supervision. This regulation is currently being similarly regulated in Article 8 of Decree 132/2008/ND-CP and Article 9 of Circular 06/2020/TT-BKHCN.

By Nguyễn Hiền/Thanh Thuy

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