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The Customs sector continues to make efforts to cut costs and clearance times for businesses

09:10 | 19/12/2021

VCN - The General Department of Vietnam Customs wishes to continue to help enterprises to solve their difficulties and problems.

Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh
Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh

Speaking at the Forum on Tax Policy, held on December 15, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs, Mai Xuan Thanh said, “Vietnam is integrating into the international economy. If in 2000, Vietnam's import and export was only US$30 billion, in 2009 it recorded a figure of US$127 billion, and in turn conquered the mark of US$200 billion in 2011, US$300 billion in 2015, US$400 billion in 2017, US$500 billion in 2019 and reaching US$600 billion in early December 2021.”

"That result has put Vietnam in the top 30 economies with the largest import-export value globally, showing Vietnam has risen quite quickly compared to other countries. In the ASEAN region, Vietnam is firmly at No. 2 after Singapore. This was an impressive result due to the countries’ constant efforts, and a testament to the political determination and effective activities of the business community over the years".

However, starting from 2020 and especially in 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic situation broke out on a large scale. Following the direction of the Government and the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has proactively implemented solutions to support businesses, ensure production stability, the smooth and safe circulation of goods and overcome disruptions in the supply chain.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs has always identified administrative reform as a key political task, which should be carried out regularly with synchronous solutions, making the satisfaction of people and businesses a service goal. In the years 2020 and 2021, administrative reform has been further accelerated. Up to now, basically, all steps of customs procedures have been done electronically. Some documents previously required by enterprises to submit paper copies are now also submitted online with digital signatures, further reducing business conditions and facilitating businesses.

At the same time, according to Mr. Mai Xuan Thanh, as a standing body of the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and Trade Facilitation, the General Department of Vietnam Customs advised to promote the implementation of the National Single Window, and is chairing on the development of the Decree named, "Stipulating the management mechanism, methods, order and procedures for state inspection of quality and state inspection of food safety for imported goods”. The reform of specialized inspection methods following the draft Decree is expected to help businesses reduce costs and reduce contact points between enterprises and agencies and organizations.

According to the independent impact assessment results of the Trade Facilitation Project, funded by USAID, when the Decree is implemented, it will have a positive impact on businesses and the economy. It is estimated it will save nearly VND 1,300 billion (approximately US$59.1 million) per year for businesses, and increase the value of the economy by over VND 9,000 billion.

Along with that, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has also continued to improve the legal framework in the customs field. Implementing the law promulgation program of the Ministry of Finance, and program of the General Department of Vietnam Customs approved by the Ministry of Finance, from now until the end of the year, the General Department of Vietnam Customs will submit to the Ministry an amendment to Decree No. 08, which continues to simplify and cut customs procedures to reduce costs and clearance time for businesses.

The leader of the General Department of Vietnam Customs also said, “the Customs sector has also applied synchronous solutions to quickly clear import and export goods. Accordingly, the General Department, together with the local Customs Departments, set up teams to handle problems for businesses within the same day. During the Covid-19 pandemic period, following the direction of the leaders of the Ministry of Finance, as well as the leaders of the Ministry of Health, the Customs authorities quickly handled all shipments of medical supplies, equipment, vaccines, biological products and aid shipments for Vietnam.

Along with that, cross-border exports were also focused on speeding up clearances. Customs authorities coordinated with departments, agencies and People's Committees of provinces and cities that have joint borders with neighboring countries, in order to have meetings that aim to remove obstacles and speed up clearance, to reduce congestion for businesses.

Notably, in the past, the Customs sector has also promoted the application of information technology to help enterprises carry out customs procedures in the context of the pandemic. For example, in 2021, all core customs procedures were completely implemented by automatic methods, through VNACCS/VCIS systems, at 100% of Customs units in the whole country. More than 99% of participating enterprises processed more than 99.8% of customs declarations and clearance time for goods classified in green channels, in only 1 to 3 seconds. State budget revenue related to export and import activities is also managed via online methods, accounting for 99.8% of total revenue.

Up to now, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has provided online public services at level three and four for 215 over 237 administrative procedures, accounting for 91% of the total number of administrative procedures performed by the Customs authority. In particular, 209 administrative procedures have been provided with online public services at level four (reaching the rate of 88%). In 2021, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has integrated 26 online public services into the National Public Service Portal.

Director General Mai Xuan Thanh said, “in the future, the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to be complicated, there will be commercial competition between major countries, a trend of shifting global supply chains and the 4.0 revolution. All of these things would hugely affect the export and import activities of Vietnam.

Implementing the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress, Vietnam Customs would continue to strengthen international integration, harmonize the task of both facilitating trade and performing the State management of customs, create a transparent and fair import-export environment and contribute to improving national competitiveness. One of the main solutions was to implement digital customs with features such as, smart border management, chain and ecosystem management and intelligent connection and processing.

In the context of the turbulent of Covid-19 pandemic, with the drastic and close direction of the Government, the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the support of the business community, press agencies and great efforts and determination generally, the General Department of Vietnam Customs wishes to continue to solve difficulties and obstacles in the operation of enterprises, so that enterprises can continue to reduce costs.”

By Thùy Linh/Thanh Thuy