Simplifying Customs Procedures with Regional Countries

11:26:17 AM | 7/29/2014

This is the direction of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a recent meeting with the General Department of Vietnam Customs in Hanoi.
Rapid modernisation reform
General Director Nguyen Ngoc Tuc of the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported on important progress and achievements in customs reform and modernisation.
He said the customs sector is making a breakthrough step in modernisation reform and export and import facilitation by deploying the VNACCS/VCIS system - an automated customs clearance system, funded by the Government of Japan, and implementing the National Single Window (NSW) and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). After two years of preparation, the VNACCS/VCIS system has been launched since April 1, 2014 at all 34 provincial customs departments (with 170 units.)
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung appreciated the efforts of the customs sector for administrative reform, import and export facilitation, smuggling prevention, State budget revenue collection and export - import policy perfection.
The customs image is getting better in the eyes of international friends and customs personnel has been constantly trained and developed. The Vietnam customs is now ranked seventh among the 12-member ASEAN - China region by export and import procedures, according to the World Bank (WB).
Striving for sixth position in 2014
However, the Prime Minister also pointed out customs limits and requested the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs to seek solutions and road maps to overcome those limits.
Delving into three ranking criteria (container costs, customs clearance duration and days of doing import and export procedures) showed that the customs clearance duration and days of doing import and export procedures in Vietnam are quite high. Export procedures require four days, double the average duration in the region; import procedures need four days, longer than the regional average of three days. Thailand and Singapore need only one day to handle import procedures. Time of preparing export and import procedures is 12 days.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister asked relevant bodies to reduce corporate tax payment time from 800 hours to 200 hours within this year. “You must respect the people, respect businesses. You must eliminate red tape and bossy attitude to businesses. You must do these well.”
According to the World Bank, companies in Vietnam need the longest time among 12 ASEAN - China countries to settle taxes in a year, as much as four times longer than the average in the Asia - Pacific region and even longer than Laos. Is this caused by the poor competence of Vietnamese people or what else? To improve the investment environment in Vietnam, the Prime Minister asked the customs sector to boost administrative reform to reduce the tax payment time.
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung said the customs sector pledged to reduce the tax payment time for businesses by 200 hours, that is, from 537 hours to 337 hours. To do that, the customs sector will accelerate the reform and simplification of tax declaration procedures.
The Prime Minister asked the customs sector to focus on basic reform points to overcome these limitations. By the end of 2014, Vietnam will rank sixth in the region by import and export procedures, with procedures as simple as other countries in the region.
The customs sector will rapidly deploy the amended Customs Law, effectively operate the VNACCS/VCIS system, NSW and ASW, tighten export, import and re-export activities, apply information technology to customs activities, reduce face-to-face contacts between customs officers and businesses to reduce red tape, and timely prevent smuggling.
Hai Ly