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Dinh Vu

Economic Sector

Last updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Businesses Happier with Customs Administrative Reform

Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2017

On the sidelines of the launch ceremony of the report: “Assessing Business Satisfaction in Customs administrative Reform in 2016", recently organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Vu Ngoc Anh, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, with regard to reform solutions to the customs sector in 2017. Le Hien reports.

Up to 93 per cent of companies saw a positive change in customs administrative reform, showing business satisfaction in this work. What do you think about this figure?
The 2016 survey report portrayed frank and comprehensive business assessments on the implementation of customs administrative procedures in the past year, showing many bright spots and expectations. The survey engaged 1,035 companies. Up to 93 per cent of respondents saw a positive change, with 96 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises. They had optimistic assessments of customs procedure information access and information quality. Specifically, over 90 per cent were totally satisfied with access to customs procedure information through websites of customs authorities and customs training courses or dialogues. Other forms of information access such as face-to-face meetings, phone calls, letters, pamphlets and publications also scored the satisfaction of 80 per cent of enterprises. These were huge improvements in comparison with 2015.

This was the fourth year the business satisfaction survey on customs administrative procedure reforms was carried out, with confidence rising year after year. This was also a pride of the sector, as well as a motivation for us to further reform. The objective of the survey is maximally facilitating import and export as the spirit of Resolution 19/CP.

In addition to their satisfaction with customs reforms, companies still face many obstacles in carrying out specialised examination. Would you talk about the sector’s solutions?
According to the survey result, specialised examinations troubled many businesses in the past time. The survey also showed that only about 30 per cent of export-import customs procedures were under the authority of customs agencies, while the rest is exercised by other ministries and branches. Many enterprises spent much time and money on implementing specialised customs procedures. Specifically, 93 per cent of respondents said that regulations on specialised inspections are provided by so many different documents that companies have difficulty grasping information on compliance. Therefore, to reduce the time for customs clearance, it is important to reform specialised customs inspections. In the coming time, we will work closely with ministries and branches to further expand the deployment of these procedures on the National Single Window (NSW). This is one of measures to speed up specialised customs inspections.

Businesses want further reform in customs. Could you please tell us upcoming plans of the customs sector to simplify administrative procedures?
In fact, the survey showed that 31 per cent of respondents paid informal charges to facilitate customs clearance. Compared with 2015, informal charges rose from 28 per cent to 31 per cent. In addition, according to enterprises, in commodity inspection, the toughest difficulties come from the weak coordination between customs authorities and other agencies (14 per cent) and policy changes (13 per cent).

In the coming time, the General Department of Vietnam Customs will continue to simplify customs procedures, improve information quality provided for enterprises, strengthen business-customs partnership, boost information technology application, and promote publicity and transparency of customs procedures for enterprises. At the same time, businesses also expect customs authorities to further improve discipline and capacity of customs officers to handle their work.

The customs sector has consulted ministries, sectors and businesses on the draft amendment to Circular 38/TT-BTC on customs operations towards simplicity and transparency in the spirit of reform in the Resolution 19/NQ-CP.


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