Enhancing Customs-Business Collaboration

10:38:25 AM | 11/14/2023

In response to feedback from the business community, customs authorities have transitioned from periodic dialogues to continuous engagement, allowing businesses to address issues and seek guidance directly at any time.

Officers from the Dong Nai Customs Department meticulously verify import and export goods codes

Active response

Under the customs-business partnership, authorities have conducted numerous dialogues throughout the year, serving as a regular platform for discussion, feedback, and collaborative problem-solving. These sessions aim to promptly address challenges, facilitate import and export activities, and ensure a smooth flow of commerce.

Customs authorities view dialogues as a vital form of communication, support, and dissemination of crucial legal information. These engagements contribute to raising awareness and enhancing compliance with customs laws within the business community.

The Lang Son Customs Department exemplifies successful business dialogues, employing various methods to receive and address inquiries and recommendations. The department organizes regular dialogue conferences and establishes workgroups, collaborating with the provincial authorities to visit local companies, gather information, and effectively resolve emerging issues.

For instance, on March 17, the Lang Son Customs Department, in collaboration with the provincial authorities, visited the Vietnam Machinery Investment and Development Joint Stock Company (VIMID) to exchange views, address concerns, and facilitate seamless import and export processes.

In Ha Tinh province, customs authorities use dialogues to educate businesses on laws, share information on support programs, and encourage adherence to regulations. The hope is that businesses will openly discuss challenges and offer recommendations during these sessions, fostering a collaborative relationship with customs officers.

Mr. Dinh Van Hoa, Deputy Director of Ha Tinh Customs Department, emphasized the importance of businesses providing feedback on customs service attitudes, enabling the department to implement effective solutions for improved service in the future.

Ms. Nguyen Thu Nhieu, Director of Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department, viewed dialogues as an opportunity to receive valuable input for policy adjustments, aligning them with current laws and practices to enhance import and export performance. Specific concerns raised by companies, such as declared value determination consultation and delays in cargo information, are addressed during these dialogues.

Specific targets assigned

Previously, businesses were often unsure why they made mistakes in customs declarations or why they were fined or warned, and who to contact for guidance. However, customs authorities are increasingly regarding businesses as partners and companions to complete their tasks better, with high consensus and voluntary compliance with current laws. Practical exchanges have proven that customs-business interaction is very important.

To have more effective customs-business dialogues, the Legal Department under the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDC) signed Decision No. 123/QD- GDC on tasks and targets of administrative reform, procedural simplification, and trade facilitation in the customs sector in 2023. Accordingly, GDC requires its affiliated and subordinate units to improve the quality of dialogues and promptly remove difficulties and problems for businesses.

Specifically, customs agencies will complete solving issues within their jurisdiction in two working hours, and increase online customs-business dialogues at least once a quarter at the customs branch level and twice a year at the provincial level. At the national level, dialogue conferences will be held every 6-12 months besides theme-based separate dialogues.

In the last 10 months, customs authorities at all levels have hosted more than 100 dialogues with thousands of importers and exporters. Through these dialogues, customs agencies realized that most of the emerging issues relating to inter-agency administrative procedures were raised by businesses. Customs agencies will research, discuss, and coordinate with relevant agencies to get the fastest answers for businesses.

Customs agencies aim to improve the effectiveness of support and promptly solve emerging problems. They hope that businesses will more actively respond to difficulties and obstacles in law enforcement. At the same time, businesses should actively propose solutions to authorities on developing, amending, and supplementing tax and customs laws to ensure feasibility, fairness, and transparency, ease of understanding, and ease of enforcement of legal documents.

By Hien Phuc, Vietnam Business Forum