Vietnam Customs plays important role in ASEAN Customs community

VCN – In addition to the integration trend, Vietnam Customs’ international cooperation and integration has been deeper and more substantive, contributing to promoting the customs reform and modernization. Vietnam Customs is always an active member in implementing regional customs cooperation initiatives and programs.
Vietnam Customs plays important role in ASEAN Customs community
The 32nd meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs was held from June 6-8, 2023 in Pattaya, Thailand. Photo: Viet Nga

Improving Vietnam Customs’ position through providing initiatives

According to the International Cooperation Department under the General Department of Vietnam Customs), the position of Vietnam Customs in ASEAN has been improved through the introduction of ASEAN cooperation and integration initiatives approved by the ASEAN Customs community. Notably, there are many proposals for changing the operational mechanism to boost efficiency and transparency.

Vietnam hosted the meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs for the first time in 1995. This is considered a greeting from Vietnam Customs to the ASEAN Customs community. In 2024, the 12th meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs was held in Hanoi, marking the initial approach of Vietnam Customs to international Customs, and new development step towards customs modernization. In June 2014, Vietnam Customs hosted successfully the 23rd meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in Da Lat, which continued to affirm the position of Vietnam Customs in international cooperation and Customs modernization.

In addition to developing and implementing the Strategic Plan of Customs Development (SPCD), ASEAN Single Window (ASW), the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS), new ASEAN Agreement on Customs, and building and reviewing the ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) based on the updated HS version..., Vietnam Customs deeply participates in cooperation programs with dialogue countries and partners of ASEAN such as China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the US in providing technical assistance for customs operations.

Notably, in 2023, Vietnam Customs completed and implemented AHTN, deployed ACTS, signed and implemented the ASEAN AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement (AAMRA), exchanged the ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD) and e-Certificate of Phytosanitary via ASW. In addition, Vietnam Customs coordinated with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) to successfully organize the 6th Joint Customs Middle Management Program (JCMMP) in October 2023.

In 2023, as the chair in negotiating the Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Chapter of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement, Vietnam Customs achieved the goal set out by the Negotiation Committee. As a member, Vietnam Customs actively negotiated to upgrade the ASEAN-China Agreement, ATIGA and started to negotiate to upgrade the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam officially implemented the National Single Window (NSW) and technical connection to ASW on September 8, 2015. As of February 15, 2024, 250 procedures of 13 ministries and sectors were connected to the NSW with the participation of more than 69.5 thousand businesses.

All 10 ASEAN member states have officially connected ASW since February 2019. As of February 15, 2024, Vietnam Customs has expanded and maintained the official connection ASW to exchange C/O form D with nine ASEAN member states. The regulator has cooperated with the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN member states to officially exchange the Customs Declaration Document. It has met requirements to connect and pilot the exchange of Certificate of Phytosanitary. Vietnam Customs has also discussed to build solutions and roadmaps to connect and exchange e-documents between ASEAN and partners such as Japan, China, and South Korea.

According to the International Cooperation Department (Ministry of Finance), the achievements in customs cooperation aim to protect economic interests, protect customs offences, and facilitate trade, investment and movement between Vietnam and other countries, and take advantage of technical assistant and equipment for customs reform and modernization.

Actively connecting

Along with the current trend of integration and development in the world, ASEAN has provided effective solutions to encourage member states to facilitate legal trade by strengthening customs cooperation. Currently, ASEAN member states have made great effort to apply modern customs management techniques, especially the standards stated in the revised Kyoto Convention to reduce customs release time to 1-6 hours depending on each states’ conditions.

In the discussion on the Report on Identifying the Gap on Modernization of ASEAN Customs at the 32nd session of the ASEAN Customs Capacity Building Working Group (CCBWG) in March, 2023, the representative of Vietnam Customs presented great efforts of Vietnam Customs to reach the targets set out in the Customs Development Strategy until 2030.

Vietnam Customs also shared the practice of annual performance assessment in all areas such as: tax collection, trade facilitation, control and capacity building.

Notably, Vietnam Customs will assume the Chairmanship of the 33rd meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in June 2024. Vietnam Customs will actively promote connection ASEAN member states to implement and complete customs cooperation initiatives in ASEAN such as: e-document exchange, AEO, e-commerce…

In the ASEAN customs cooperation, Vietnam Customs continues to implement ongoing initiatives and research new contents such as: exchanging e-commerce data information between the Customs and e-commerce businesses, reviewing and removing obstacles in the customs release.

Vietnam Customs has agreed and supported customs cooperation initiatives in ASEAN with the goal of simplifying customs procedures, facilitating trade and enhancing efficiency of customs control in line with international standards and practices.

Vietnam Customs will implement consultation and cooperation on technical assistance with partners such as Australia, China, Japan, Korea, the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC), the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) in key contents, including: AEO, digital customs, smart customs model...

By Nu Bui/Ngoc Loan

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