Customs Authorities Adopt Consistent Solutions to Facilitate Importers, Exporters

12:41:52 PM | 11/1/2021

Following the directions of the Government and the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDC) has adopted several solutions to speed up customs clearance for commodities and promptly support business operations of enterprises.

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected socio-economic development and import-export activity in particular since May 2021, especially in localities with many large industrial parks like Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong. Business performance stalled and distribution was disrupted. In such a context, the Government required central authorities to direct settlement of emerging matters to facilitate merchandise distribution, facilitate importers and exporters and speed up commodity clearance.
The General Department has deployed solutions for smoother customs procedures, customs inspection and export-import supervision. The agency allowed enterprises to submit electronic customs documents for merchandise clearance; set up export and import support and problem-solving teams for customs procedures together with officer lists and contact telephone numbers of related units at all levels working around the clock to promptly receive and solve problems, and ensure support for fast customs clearance of goods. For post-clearance inspection, the agency is temporarily suspending compliance inspection and assessment for enterprises without any signs of violations to help them deal with existing hardships and maintain business operations.
For agricultural export across northern borders, the General Department of Customs directed relevant bodies to carry out solutions like urgently facilitating and executing intraday customs clearance, and immediately solve export procedural problems.
For import of medical supplies, equipment, medicines, vaccines and biomedical products for pandemic prevention and control, the General Department instructed quick clearance of bulk goods; and allowed enterprises to ship items that require special preservation to their storage locations where inspection will be conducted.
Besides, the General Department applies different taxation policies on imported and exported goods. It signed cooperation agreements with commercial banks to apply for the 24/7 tax payment program. Up to now, it has signed such electronic tax payment agreements with 44 banks, of which 37 lenders launched the 24/7 electronic tax payment program. 
Given the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, the customs industry also managed and arranged human resources to ensure merchandise clearance. The General Department of Customs directed customs agencies to make ready plans with actionable solutions to ensure uninterrupted customs clearance, not disrupt the goods supply chain and provide maximum support to customers but still ensure customs management as guided by the Government and the Ministry of Finance.
To support businesses, the General Department reported to the Ministry of Finance and proposed the Prime Minister include the following contents to the cabinet meeting and issue a resolution on settlement of COVID-caused difficulties in allowing extension of time of temporarily closing duty-free shops and allowing companies in export processing zones to hire warehouses outside industrial parks, export processing zones, high-tech parks and economic zones to store their commodities, imposed to the administration of the Government.
In addition, the General Department advised the Ministry of Finance to give opinions on guidelines and policies in disease prevention and control and import and export management policies to facilitate and support businesses, especially when they purchase, import and receive vaccines, including the Government’s Resolution 21/NQ-CP on purchase and use of COVID-19 vaccines; the Ministry of Health’s Plan for fund reception and COVID vaccination; the Government’s Resolution on socialized COVID vaccine purchase, import and vaccination.

By Thu Ha, Vietnam Business Forum