2:43:18 PM | 29/3/2017
Based on the VNACCS/VCIS system deployment schedule launched by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the Customs Department of Binh Duong province officially debuted the system in a customs clearance checkpoint on April 1, 2014 and all checkpoints on April 28, 2014. The system has enabled all customs units in the province to receive and settle declaration forms very quickly. The numbering and flowing of goods takes a few seconds after companies declare information. Over the past years, the Binh Duong Customs Department has stably maintained electronic customs clearance system and applied the single-window mechanism (VNACCS/VICS) in nine places of customs clearance at eight customs sub-departments. The department was recognised as one of the five best operators of this system in the country.
Developing prioritised businesses and promoting IT application
Currently, more than 5,000 companies are carrying out customs procedures at the Binh Duong Customs Department. In general, they seriously comply with legal regulations on import and export and many have annual export value of over US$100 million. Therefore, the Binh Duong Customs Department has focused very much on developing and increasing prioritised enterprises in the province. In 2016, the department asked the General Department of Vietnam Customs to add two companies into the so-called priority list and have three companies approved (two proposed in 2015). One is being considered for being added to the list. Up to now, the department has six prioritised companies (over 50 companies throughout the country). With the priority tag, companies will have more favourable treatment in exporting and importing activities, enhance their overwhelming competitiveness in the market, expand investments and scale up operations.
The department has applied the CFS warehouse and bonded warehouse management software. Previously, customs form registration and monitoring was done manually and bookkeeping was a hard task for both customs authorities and businesses. In case of displacement of records, it took very much time to monitor, recount and account customs figures, while errors and omissions occurred more easily. The software has enabled customs officers, business owners and warehouse owners to update, check and compare data on computers quickly and accurately, thus facilitating businesses to declare commodities exported or imported from CFS warehouses and bonded warehouses. Currently, the Binh Duong Customs Department is studying and developing 16 internal software applications for ease of customs work.
In 2016, a lot of customs procedures were done manually, including declaration on paper application forms and direct visits of companies at customs offices to wait for customs approval. Sometimes, businesses and customs officers failed to reach a conclusion of an issue, resulting in the misunderstanding that customs authorities deliberately upset businesses by extending the time of customs clearance, which led to slowing export and import plus rising costs for enterprises. Accordingly, to make customs procedures more transparent and public, to minimise direct contacts between customs officers and enterprises, to limit annoying harassments and further promote administrative procedure reform to provide maximum advantage for enterprises, the Binh Duong Customs Department has actively developed and deployed 37 online services of level 3 and level 4, which was recognised by the General Department of Vietnam Customs and highly appreciated by the business community. In 2016, the department received 6,568 records on its online public service system, helping enterprises to reduce costs and make customs works more transparent and public.
In order to further step up the administrative procedure reform, the department launched a new website where information about new policies is timely made public to the business community. The website also provides access to official administrative procedures, as well as receiving remarks on working attitude and manner of customs officers. Especially, the website is displayed in four languages (Vietnamese, English, Chinese and Korean) to better serve foreign investors doing business in Binh Duong province.
Building customs - business partnership
Typically managing many wholly foreign-invested exporting and importing companies from Japan, South Korea, China and Europe, the Binh Duong Customs Department has focused very much on cooperation with enterprises and treated them as real fellow companies when they work with each other. The department has many creative ways to communicate law updates and supports for enterprises, and facilitate them in their export and import activities. Particularly, the department has actively explored and worked with every business association to sign a memorandum of coordination on communication and answer concerning export and import customs procedures to enterprises. With the support and coordination of business associations, which timely explain and guide investors, the Online Consulting Workgroup will summarize new related legal documents and send them to local enterprises via their associations. So far, the department has signed memorandums of cooperation on communication and problem-solving with seven business associations in Binh Duong province and Ho Chi Minh City.
Dialoguing with businesses is one of the main tasks and priorities of the Binh Duong Customs Department. Every year, the department has plans to hold dialogues with local businesses in specific industries and themes at the start of the year. The Customs Department has actively cooperated with business associations who signed dialogue agreements with it to find ways to tackle difficulties and problems against businesses. In 2016, it successfully hosted five dialogue meetings with the Taiwanese Business Association (twice), South Korea, Japan and China at the department office and seven dialogue conferences with enterprises at sub-departments. In general, issues related to customs procedure guidance and problem-solving were quickly answered by the department. Business associations and the business community supported and appreciated its dialogues with businesses.
In 2016, the department signed three regulations on coordination in information exchange and business support with the Department of Planning and Investment, the Binh Duong Industrial Zones Authority and VSIP Industrial Park Management Board, two memorandums of understanding with the Binh Duong Department of Science and Technology and the Binh Duong Furniture Industries Association in order to better assist local enterprises to deal with procedures at customs offices. The department successfully held the Workshop themed Binh Duong - Potential and Advantages for Logistics Development and Customs Role, where it received valuable opinions for logistics development in an attempt to turn logistics into an economic drive in the coming time. In addition, the Online Consulting Workgroup has effectively answered a lot of questions raised by local enterprises. Especially when they are in trouble, they only need to send messages to the workgroup to get prompt support, guidance and solution without having to send written documents as earlier.
The department has seen a considerable growth of tax collected, topping over VND7 trillion a year (compared with a few dozens and hundreds of Vietnamese dong a year when the department was founded). Thus, the department’s efforts contributed substantially to the overall success of tax collection of the country’s customs sector. In 2016, it collected VND11,177.21 billion, equal to 106.4 per cent of the full-year plan assigned by the Ministry of Finance and the Provincial People’s Council (VND10,500 billion), up 4.4 per cent over the target set by the General Department of Vietnam Customs (VND10,700 billion), and up 8.18 per cent over 2015 (VND10,332.26 billion).
Remarking on future development, Mr Nguyen Phuoc Viet Dung, Director of the Binh Duong Customs Department, said that in 2017, the domestic economy was forecast to face certain difficulty, but it can be kept stable and growing. Optimistic investment attraction result will place rising pressures on the department’s workload and workflow, while the personnel are not increased. In addition, smuggling and trade fraudulence are still complicated. Thus, under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the Binh Duong Provincial People’s Committee, the Binh Duong Customs Department has continued to carry out drastic tasks by definition and authority to achieve best results in all aspects. It has also continued to build and develop three groups key tasks in 2017, that is to say, stepping up public administration reform and modernisation to provide further favourable conditions for businesses; effectively collecting taxes; and perfecting the customs system.