EU-ASEAN Business Council Stands Ready to Support Vietnam Customs

3:37:10 PM | 6/10/2024

The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) is advocating for accelerated customs procedures to enhance trade efficiency. Concurrently, the council is prepared to assist customs authorities in enhancing operational efficacy, understanding the requirements of the business sector, and addressing other pertinent issues such as combating illicit trade. This perspective was shared by Mr. Chris Humphrey, Executive Director of EU-ABC, during a press interaction at the 33rd Meeting of ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in Phu Quoc, held from June 4-6, 2024.

According to Mr. Chris Humphrey, in order to benefit the business community, facilitate legal trade, the EU-ABC has proposed plans and initiatives to support and cooperate with ASEAN Customs.

The first is the initiative on information compliance. This initiative helps businesses better understand the procedures they must follow to comply with customs requirements, including Vietnam Customs. That businesses have a better understanding of procedures, such as forms and declarations, will help speed up customs clearance.

Another area is low-value goods and e-commerce goods. We have seen the growth of e-commerce in the region after the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase in low-value shipments, and ASEAN is a region with a strong digital economy. Stemming from the need to clear customs quickly and ensure control of low-value goods, Mr. Chris Humphrey said that e-commerce businesses need to strengthen cooperation with customs agencies to better understand each other's needs, helping to quickly clear this type of goods across Southeast Asia.

The last but very important area is to strengthen cooperation against illegal trade. Illegal trade causes loss of revenue for the state budget. For consumers, it is a concern about the safety of illegal products. For businesses, it is a damage to their reputation if counterfeit products are sold on the market. This is an area where customs and businesses need to strengthen cooperation, not only in capacity building, but also in information sharing.

Assessing the business environment in Vietnam in attracting the business community, Mr. Chris Humphrey said that since the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement was implemented a few years ago, there has been a significant increase in two-way trade between Vietnam and the EU. This is a very encouraging signal. Vietnam has positioned itself as a trading nation, and is now one of the leading trading nations in the world. This is due to Vietnam's participation in many FTAs such as CPTPP, RCEP and FTAs with bilateral partners.

“Vietnam has become an attractive destination for foreign investors, such as building factories, service centers, and exporting goods around the world. Not only trade, but also the investment sector has grown since the Vietnam-EU FTA took effect. Vietnam has become a commercial center not only in Asia but also in the world, based on the aforementioned FTAs, a young and dynamic workforce, as well as a favorable geographical location,” Mr. Chris Humphrey commented on Vietnam's advantages.

Hien Phuc (Vietnam Business Forum)