Local Economy

Last updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2019


HCM City Customs - Labour Hero in the Renovation Era

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2018

In over 40 years of development, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has always fulfilled its assigned tasks and stays absolutely loyal to the revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation to worthily be a key force in the cause of protecting the interests, sovereignty and economic and political security of the nation.

On-going reform and modernisation for business
Since its inception, to best support export, import, outsourcing, transportation, entry and exit activities, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department always leads the nation, not only in customs procedure settlement (accounting for 22.14 per cent of the whole customs sector), tax revenue (accounting for more than 38 per cent), anti-smuggling and -trade fraud, but also in piloting customs reform and modernisation. The department also actively raises its opinions on law-making and amendment. In 2001, it was the first unit in the country to test some articles of the Customs Law before it was enforced nationwide in early 2002.

Effectively reforming administrative procedures accelerating information technology application to professional operations is one of remarkable results of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department in recent years. For years, the department has been ranked as a leader among centrally run bodies in this field. It has helped change the thinking of the administrative apparatus to better serve customers based on the guiding principle of “Professional - Transparent - Effective and provide better conditions for businesses to develop in the city. In 2005, the department was one of two customs units to pilot e-customs procedures, which created a breakthrough in import-export procedure settlement for enterprises. Up to now, 100 per cent of local export and import activities have been carried out with e-customs procedures. In 2014, the successful deployment of the VNACCS/VCIS system (Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System - VNACCS and Vietnam Customs Intelligence Information System - VCIS) has really changed customs procedures and working methods, not only to facilitate trading and improve the State management on customs and export, but also to bring real benefits to the business community (deploying around-the-clock e-customs declaration; receiving information feedback instantly and reducing visits and costs for enterprises).

After the VNACCS/VCIS, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is currently partly deploying the National Single Window, which exchanges and processes electronic information and data among registering ministries and agencies. Customs procedures such as issue of electronic C/O and permits granted by ministries and agencies are carried out via the NSW to reduce the time and cost needed to handle such procedures.

With the pioneering, innovative spirit and on-going efforts, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has convinced many local companies to use electronic import and export procedures and generate more tax revenue for the State Budget. The budget revenue collected by the department has been sharply rising over the last 10 years, from VND31,696 billion in 2007 (accounting for 37.25 per cent of the total takings of the country's customs sector) to VND109,000 billion in 2017 (accounting for 38.24 per cent). With regard to the struggle against smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of goods across borders, especially preventing the trafficking of narcotics, gold, silver, gems, weapons wildlife and reactionary materials, the department is always a leading customs unit with many outstanding achievements that help maintain economic security and political security in Ho Chi Minh City in particular and the whole country in general.

With excellent achievements in the past more than 40 years, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department was honoured to receive a lot of merits and awards from the Party, the State, the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee and other ministries and agencies. Specially, the department was decorated the Labour Hero in the renovation era; the first, second and third class Labour Orders; the first and third class Victory Orders; the Third Class Independence Order and many Certificates of Merit from the Government.

Building up professional, modern customs force
Operating in the economic centre of the country, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is also the largest unit in the sector by organisational structure and personnel to meet working requirements for socio-economic development of the city and the whole country. The department is the largest among 34 local customs units under the General Department of Customs. It is staffed by up to 1,844 employees (accounting for nearly a fifth of the whole sector staff). Its organisational structure consists of 25 units, including 10 advisory divisions, 13 customs sub-departments and 2 control teams. Its political function is managing customs affairs in Ho Chi Minh City with more than 40,000 enterprises involved in customs operations. Among the important tasks are carrying out customs procedures for export goods and means of transport, exit and entry, export and import tax, and the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

Mr Dinh Ngoc Thang, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department said, in order to perform such a great workload and pressure, the department always bears in mind that building the workforce is a central task; seriously implementing the discipline, raising the role and responsibility of employees in fulfilling their duties; and ensuring that laws and directives of superiors are strictly observed, the reporting regime is maintained in a timely and accurate manner. It also shapes a professional and effective working culture.

Accordingly, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department always pays attention to emulation and commendation policy, regularly launches emulation movements, praises good people and good deeds, encourages and rewards employees with outstanding achievements in a timely manner. The department's Trade Union takes care of employees' aspirations and timely helps those living in hardship. The department enhances political education, ethics and professional pride; upholds the movement of studying and following Ho Chi Minh's moral example to employees; pays regular and irregular inspections and examinations into their duty performances and responsibilities.

According to the "Customs Reform, Development and Modernisation Plan in 2016-2020," strengthening the capacity of customs agencies at all levels is a strategic objective of the Vietnamese customs sector. Therefore, together with its peers, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has gradually reformed its performance-based human resource management methods based on job descriptions. It will first of all reform the apparatus to put right persons in right places and jobs; improve work performance; and reduce redundancies. At the same time, it has paid attention to training human resources and upgrading their qualifications and expertise.

Besides, the department will review, advise and propose competent authorities to amend and supplement mechanisms, policies, institutions and professional processes to create a comprehensive and uniform legal framework for civil servants in the course of doing their work; purchase modern equipment and means for better service for companies. All these efforts are aimed at building a professional - modern - transparent - effective customs force for Ho Chi Minh City to meet development and integration requirements.

Bich Thuy

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