Facilitating Trade and Enhancing National Competitiveness

9:38:52 AM | 6/1/2021

The National Single Window (NSW) and ASEAN Single Window (ASW) mechanisms were implemented by the General Department of Customs, ministries, and sectors in line with the spirit of the Government’s Resolution No. 02/NQ-CP, dated January 1, 2020, on the continued realisation of key tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and national competitiveness in 2020.

 

This work has practically contributed to reducing paperwork, shortening clearance time, cutting costs of implementing administrative procedures in the field of export and import, thus radically transforming the mode of specialised management and inspection, enhancing state agencies’ operational quality and efficiency, and better serving the people and businesses.

As the standing agency of the National Steering Committee on ASW, NSW and trade facilitation, the General Department of Customs has coordinated with ministries and agencies to actively implement new administrative procedures as well as expand the scope and number of enterprises participating in the already-implemented ones. As of December 15, 2020, 207 administrative procedures of 13 ministries and sectors had been officially deployed on the NSW mechanism, with over 3.5 million records of the more than 43,460 enterprises participating. Particularly, in 2020, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) coordinated to officially implement 10 new administrative procedures of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and an additional nine of the Ministry of Health through the NSW. In addition, the MOF has officially implemented the NSW system for entry aircrafts and the automatic cargo control system for imports at the Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch.

As of December 15, 2020, Vietnam applied the ASW system to exchange electronic Certificate of Origin (C/O) Form D with nine ASEAN countries. The country received a total of 247,858 electronic C/O while sending 313,859 to ASEAN member states. The MOF is preparing technical conditions to get ready for the exchange of ASEAN customs declaration and phytosanitary certificate (ePhyto). According to ASEAN’s plan, these two documents are expected to be connected and exchanged in the period of 2020-2021. Regarding the implementation of connection with non-ASEAN partners, Vietnam has completed the technical testing of connection and exchanged a message on testing export customs declaration with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). In addition, the country has been negotiating the exchange of C/O with the EAEU and electronic C/O with the Republic of Korea, as well as signing a cooperation agreement with New Zealand with regards to the exchange of electronic C/O.

In recent times, when performing administrative procedures via the NSW portal, thanks to the electronised documents, enterprises need only sit at their headquarters and send the electronic documents to the portal to complete the required procedures for shipment clearance. The simplification and harmonization of procedures among management agencies have also helped businesses to shorten their travel time to carry out licensing and goods clearance procedures, with most administrative procedures reporting decreased costs in comparison to the traditional form, by as much as 93%. In addition, performing administrative procedures through the NSW portal also helps increase transparency and reduce contact between people / businesses and state management agencies, thus contributing to minimising negative acts and harassment among a part of cadres and civil servants.

Notably, on the basis of the NSW and ASW implementation results, the General Department of Customs completed the project “Reforming the model of inspecting quality and food safety toward imported goods” and submitted it to the MOF. The project was then submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration and approval, aimed at substantially reforming specialised inspection for imported goods, reducing costs and time for enterprises, upholding the responsibilities of state management agencies, and enhancing national competitiveness. Accordingly, the project proposes a new inspection model of quality and food safety of imported goods with a number of major reforms, such as simplifying inspection procedures, assigning customs offices to act as a focal point in quality and food safety inspection, and synchronously applying three inspection methods, “tightened, normal and reduced”, to reduce the number of imported consignments subject to inspection. This model is expected to help save US$399 million per year. To facilitate trade in the context of international trade predicted to continue facing multiple difficulties, the General Department of Customs is urgently working with ministries and agencies to review and handle overlaps and obstacles in specialised inspection regulations to effectively implement the project after it is approved. As of November 2020, ministries and sectors had made amendments and supplements to 27 out of 38 documents, issued 49 out of 60 lists of goods with HS codes, and promulgated standards for 18 out of 22 groups of commodities.

Deputy Director of Information Technology and Customs Statistics Department (General Department of Customs) Pham Duyen Phuong said that in the time ahead, the customs sector will continue to well implement the Government's Decree No. 85/2019/ND-CP, perfect the legal basis and develop a decree on connecting and sharing information through the NSW mechanism. Along with that, the sector will develop and implement the information technology system and finalise a master project on building and developing the information technology system in service of the NSW and ASW implementation in the direction of centralised processing. During the implementation process, the standing supporting unit of the General Department of Customs (Helpdesk) will actively support and coordinate ministries and agencies to guide businesses in performing administrative procedures through the NSW mechanism.

Source: NDO