Last updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019


Business Satisfaction with Customs Sector Rising

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2019

To learn more about survey results of business satisfaction with customs authorities, jointly conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs. Le Hien reports.

Could you please tell us about survey results of business satisfaction with export and import administrative procedures?
In recent years, the customs sector has worked hard to carry out cross-sector reforms, which are highly appreciated by the Government and the business community for connecting, sharing and accompanying the business community towards the goal of strengthening customs - business partnerships and further promoting import and export facilitation. The General Department of Vietnam Customs has launched many surveys on business opinions to timely grasp their difficulties and obstacles, listen to their feedback on import and export procedures in Vietnam, thus asking competent authorities to revise legal regulations and accelerate reforms for better enforcement and trade facilitation for the business community to gradually improve business satisfaction in carrying out import and export procedures for goods.

In 2018, the General Department of Vietnam Customs continued to work with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to organize a survey on business satisfaction on export and import administrative procedures. The survey results portray assessments of the business community on the implementation of customs administrative procedures in the year, as well as their expectations for the customs sector in the coming time.

The survey results showed that business satisfaction with the customs sector in 2018 picks up in most survey contents in comparison with 2015. This is an encouraging recognition for the sector’s reform efforts over the years.

Assessing the quality of information on customs administrative procedures received, 91% of respondents said the information provided by customs authorities is consistent and 90% said access to administrative document information is available. The respective rates in 2015 were 77% and 81%.

The 2018 survey found 2,097 companies sought support of customs authorities in tax refund, on-site inspection and record inspection, what do you think about this?
On implementation of customs administrative procedures, the business survey results in 2018 showed that the share of companies facing difficulties in carrying out procedures significantly reduced over 2015. For example, the procedure of record inspection and the procedure of on-site inspection in customs clearance is 6% (versus 11% in 2015) and 14% (21% in 2015), respectively. The rate of companies encountering difficulties in executing tax refund procedures is 23%, compared with 31% in 2015.

When facing hardships in carrying out customs administrative procedures, up to 85% of 2,907 respondents said they seek customs authorities for assistance. The business view is quite positive when 79% said the support by customs authorities are “largely and completely” in time. Notably, up to 84% said that the support is “largely or completely” effective.

Have the survey results relating to customs officers been positively improved?
Customs officers are increasingly improving the spirit of serving businesses. For example, on the knowledge of professional expertise, enterprises highly appreciate customs officers’ knowledge of professional expertise in all customs and record inspection procedures. Up to 70% of respondents assess fairly good and good, compared with 60% in 2015. Tax administration and tax refund procedures are deemed good by 54% of respondents, compared with 44% in 2015.

Similarly, job-solving skills are also better than in 2015. Up to 62% of companies surveyed rate fairly good and good for job-solving skills of customs officers in both commodity inspection procedures and tax payment procedures, versus 54% and 49% in 2015, respectively. Remarkably, indicators related to non-regulatory costs have improved significantly. Only 18% of respondents said that they have to pay non-regulatory costs, compared with 28% in 2015. Up to 56% said that they do not pay non-regulatory fees while this rate of 2015 was only 37%. The share of companies facing discrimination for not paying informal costs fell to only 15% in 2018 from 31% in 2015.

In the coming time, customs authorities will continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Home Affairs and independent survey units such as the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to improve survey methods and complete evaluation criteria to ensure the adequacy, objectivity and accuracy of importer exporter satisfaction with service quality of customs authorities. In addition, customs authorities will conduct surveys on business satisfaction with customs administrative procedures at every local customs department and office.

Thank you very much!

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