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Evaluation made on customs procedures

Released at: 11:46, 09/09/2015

Evaluation made on customs procedures

Enterprises appreciate Vietnam Automated Cargo Clearance System (VNACCS) but find accompanying documents too long.

by Hoai An

The General Department of Vietnam Customs, in collaboration with the Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) program of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), held a consultative meeting in Hanoi on September 8 to review and evaluate the implementation of the Law on Customs 2014 and guiding documents.

Addressing the conference, Deputy Director of the Customs’ Supervision and Management Division, Mr. Au Anh Tuan, said that the implementation of the Law on Customs impacted significantly on the import and export activities of businesses as well as customs operations. Procedures for imported goods are being continually simplified with vouchers to be submitted and presented to customs authorities and time saved when completing procedures.

According to Mr. Pete Faust, an international expert on trade facilitation at the GIG project, the Law on Customs is considered a positive reform that has adopted modern management practices according to international rules and agreements Vietnam has signed to promote economic growth. He also said that Vietnam Customs has changed considerably to facilitate commercial activities.

However, the process of implementing the Law on Customs and guiding documents also faced certain obstacles, mostly from infrastructure systems being incompatible with the requirements of the new law. Most enterprises agreed that implementation was not unified between customs units and that procedures for tax rebates and exemptions remain complicated. Businesses also faced difficulties in declaring container codes at the time of export declarations.

According to Mr. Pham Thanh Binh, a consultant on the GIG project, 94 per cent of surveyed enterprises positively evaluated the development of policies and laws on customs over recent years. They assessed the Vietnam Automated Cargo Clearance System (VNACCS) highly but believed related documents were often too lengthy. For example, Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC runs to more than 200 pages while Dispatch No. 6330/TTHQ-GSQL is nearly 100 pages. Additionally, many recently-issued documents have already come into effect but enterprises had little time to study them beforehand.

Notably, many major export items of Vietnam were being strictly checked, such as cashew nuts, which undergo there types of tests, on quality, food safety, and quarantine. Seafood and milk and dairy exports also face thorough inspections.

A similar meeting will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 10.

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