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Noting the problems of businesses, recently, the Private Economic Development Research Board (Division IV) reported to the Prime Minister the problems of businesses importing products in the information technology sector that encounter troubles as "one product, two management agencies".

Specifically stating this issue, Board IV said that businesses that import a number of common information technology equipment items such as laptops, switches, and routers, etc have difficulty complying with customs procedures due to inadequacies in specialized management. Currently, there is a situation where the same information technology product is managed by two different specialized agencies. Therefore, businesses at the same time need to review regulations to comply with different conditions, orders and procedures.

Specifically, the above information technology equipment items belong to: List of group 2 products and goods that are implemented according to the regulations of the Ministry of Information and Communications on regulation conformity certification, regulation conformity announcement and quality examination for products and goods specialized in information technology and communications and corresponding technical regulations; At the same time, it can be included in the List of civil cryptographic products exported and imported under a license issued by the Government Cipher Committee.

In addition, there are currently no detailed and clear instructions on products that do not contain civil cryptography (not on the List of civil cryptographic products exported or imported under license), as well as the distribution process between the Customs agency and the Government Cipher Committee to check and determine this technical expertise factor that leads to confusion in enforcement.

According to Board IV, to carry out customs procedures for information technology equipment, importing businesses need to review legal documents under the management of the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Government Cipher Committee to determine which category the product belongs to in order to comply with the accompanying regulations. For example, the List of products and goods specialized in information technology and communications that require certification of conformity and declaration of conformity are specified in Appendix I; The list of products and goods specialized in information technology and communications that require declaration of conformity" is specified in Appendix II of Circular 04/2023/TT-BTTTT of the Ministry of Information and Communications; List of civil cryptographic products and services in Appendix I; List of civil cryptographic products exported and imported under license in Appendix II attached to Decree 58/2016/ND-CP of the Government.

Committee IV believes that, in the List of civil cryptographic products and services (issued together with Decree No. 58/2016/ND-CP of the Government), there is an explanation: "Civil cryptographic products are described are systems, devices, modules, integrated circuits, and software specifically designed for the purpose of protecting information using cryptographic techniques using “symmetric cryptographic algorithms” or “asymmetric cryptographic algorithms”. “The list of conditional business civil cryptographic products does not include the following products:..”. However, with such an unclear and incomplete explanation, customs officers who carry out customs clearance procedures for information technology equipment items without specialized knowledge of civil cryptography will be confused in determining whether or not the product has a civil cryptographic element.

In the report sent to the Prime Minister, Committee IV proposed that the Prime Minister direct the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Government Cipher Committee to coordinate research and amend documents guiding the classification of specialized product and commodity categories in the direction of: clarifying criteria for classification according to management specialties for the same product. Currently, the way to group products in two specialized categories is not unified.

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In addition, Committee IV also proposed that the Government Cipher Committee research and issue detailed instructions on products that do not belong to the list of conditional business civil cryptographic products as a basis for businesses and agencies to classify imported and exported products. In addition, it is necessary to soon establish channels and methods for quick professional consultation with the Customs authorities to solve the problem of congestion in the customs clearance process for common information technology equipment items.

By Ngoc Linh/ Phuong Linh

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