Removing Obstacles to Promote Import-Export Growth

10:12:34 AM | 7/29/2022

According to the General Department of Customs, Vietnam raked in US$371.32 billion from import and export in the first six months of 2022, up 16.4% over the same period in 2021. This is a positive result in the context of the complicated COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

At the online conference on the work of the first six months, and the solutions to the tasks of the last six months of 2022 of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Director General Nguyen Van Can analyzed that by taking the initiative in capturing, analyzing and evaluating the situation, the Customs sector has taken solutions to facilitate the business community and improve the state management of customs, helping businesses restore production, and promoting import and export turnover growth.

In fact, amid the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the "Zero Covid" policy of China (Vietnam's largest trading partner) and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Customs sector has promptly implemented synchronous and drastic solutions. Specifically, in the first months of 2022, with the "Zero-Covid" strategy, China stopped customs clearance at all border gates and openings, leading to congestion of goods at the Northern border gate. In that situation, the General Department of Customs established a working group to assist in solving problems related to customs procedures to support businesses in the process of carrying out customs clearance procedures.

It also directed relevant branches to increase daily working time from 8 am to 10 pm, arrange shifts to work outside office hours and carry out customs procedures 24/7. Along with that, it built and operated a warning system to prevent congestion of goods at road border gates deployed on the National Single Window Portal. It promulgated an official dispatch guiding the procedures for extending the transit time of goods as the COVID-19 pandemic caused congestion at the export border gate and for domestic consumption, extending the storage time for goods in transit.

On the other hand, the General Department of Vietnam Customs worked with the General Administration of Customs of China on solutions to facilitate customs clearance of goods. Accordingly, the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in building "Smart customs, smart border, and smart customs clearance", and soon complete the negotiation of an agreement on cooperating and supporting the administration in the field of customs.

In addition to the above-mentioned arising issues, in recent months, the Customs sector has continued to promote long-term programs of administrative procedure reform and customs modernization to facilitate trade and reduce the time for customs clearance of goods. This typically includes submitting to the Government for approval the Customs Development Strategy to 2030 (according to Decision 628/QD-TTg dated May 20th, 2022); formulating and promulgating guiding and executive documents on administrative reform, and at the same time seriously implementing plans and directives to units under and affiliated with the General Department; modernizing equipment for customs inspection and supervision; improving the efficiency of implementation of the National Single Window, the ASEAN Single Window, strengthening the provision of online public services.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Vuong, Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department, shared that facing China's "Zero-Covid" policy, import and export activities through the area faced many difficulties. Lang Son Customs Department, especially branches such as Huu Nghi International Border Gate Customs Branch, Tan Thanh Customs Branch often work overtime to support the business community in customs clearance.

Import and export activities in Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Cao Bang and the Northern border are also in a state of long-term temporary suspension of customs clearance or weak operations. Facing that situation, local customs units have both strictly implemented the guidelines and policies of the sector and advised the local authorities in implementing solutions to soon open up normal and stable import and export activities.

With the solutions of the Customs sector and ministries, and localities, especially the efforts of the business community, in 2022, it is forecast that Vietnam will earn more than US$740 billion from import and export.

By Hien Phuc, Vietnam Business Forum