Higher Business Satisfaction for Export-Import Procedures
“Information on import and export administrative policies and procedures is more accessible. Enterprises highly appreciate information quality provided by customs authorities. They are also more satisfied with the support and response of authorities when they face difficulty in accessing information.”
This remark is delivered by Dr. Vu Tien Loc, at the announcement ceremony of the Report on Business Satisfaction with the implementation of import-export administrative procedures: Survey 2020. The report was compiled by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the General Department of Vietnam Customs - Ministry of Finance, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The report was made from feedback from 3,657 importers and exporters nationwide in 2020, reflecting recommendations of the business community to authorities on amendments to legal regulations, to enhance enforcement outcomes and facilitate import and export activities.
Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Director of VCCI Legal Department, said a lot of notable changes were applied to the survey in 2020 compared to previous editions. Significantly, nearly 80% of respondents were satisfied with the information provided on the Information Portal of the General Department of Vietnam Customs. Information portals of provincial/municipal customs departments and the National Trade Portal also were rated satisfactory by over 70% of respondents. The degree of convenience for law-abiding companies with customs administrative procedures was quite different. The two procedures - “customs declaration (customs clearance procedure group)” and “tax payment (tax administration procedure group)” - were deemed more convenient by many law-respecting businesses. Meanwhile, "check documents (customs clearance procedure group)", "tax refund/no tax collection (tax administration procedure group)" and "physical inspection of goods (customs clearance procedure group)" are most troublesome to them.
Recently, customs authorities conducted major reforms to reduce overlapping and duplicated procedures in post-clearance inspection and certification of goods conveyed across the automated customs management system. Enterprises also appreciated the higher service quality of customs officers than in previous years.
Specifically, regarding discipline of customs officers, enterprises highly appreciated customs officers for civility and politeness when they interacted (53% of enterprises), for the proper exercise of authority (51%), and for fairness and dedication in performing official duties (47%).
The merchandise quality management includes three main procedures: The procedure for granting permits and equivalent papers, the procedures for declaration of conformity, and the procedure for quality inspection. Regarding business remarks on the ease of carrying out the procedure for granting permits and equivalent papers applied to merchandise quality management, the Ministry of Industry and Trade had the highest ease of this procedure to enterprises (41.6%), followed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (28.4%). The Ministry of Transport had the lowest rate (17.1%).
Further streamlining administrative procedures on specialized management, inspection
According to VCCI President Loc, the above changes are very positive and must be promoted further in the coming time. However, the VCCI survey showed that many procedures need to be actively implemented in the coming time for trade facilitation for businesses by customs authorities and relevant authorities.
To customs authorities, businesses expected that information provision and solution guidance from authorities need to be more focused and effective in consulting and updating information on a regular basis. They hoped that procedures can be completely carried out in the internet environment instead of both online and offline as now. Customs authorities need a connection and sharing mechanism about merchandise inspection logs of enterprises to avoid duplicate checks.
“Many businesses also suggested that customs authorities should give better support concerning procedures of determining the HS Code and consulting for customs valuation. They also hoped that customs authorities will have supervisory policies for the implementation of administrative discipline, public service and official duties and for transparency of dealing with violating officers. And, at the same time, there is also a need for effective and substantive mechanisms for businesses to make recommendations and complaints about harassing and troublesome behaviors," he added.
To specialized regulatory and inspection agencies, businesses hoped that they will necessarily reduce more administrative procedures with respect to specialized management and inspection and thoroughly apply receipt and settlement of online procedures. Many also believed that the number of goods subject to specialized inspection should be further reduced and streamlined to avoid duplication. Specialized management and inspection agencies need to fully and essentially apply principles of risk management to reduce the cost of legal compliance for enterprises. Strengthening information sharing among specialized management and inspection agencies and customs agencies also needs to be improved, especially data sharing on administrative procedures and coordination in solving problems and guiding businesses to carry out procedures.
In general, the business community hoped that customs and relevant agencies will further simplify administrative procedures and switch to online processing, he added. Enterprises also suggested that it is necessary to enhance publicity and transparency of carrying out administrative procedures, upgrade facilities, improve their troubleshooting capacity and strengthen the discipline of civil servants to handle procedures for them. Customs and other authorities need to strengthen coordination in handling procedures for them, ultimately minimize unreasonable compliance costs and smooth the entire export and import process for them.
“As a national representative of the business community and a member of the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and Trade Facilitation, VCCI is committed to providing continued efforts to represent the voice and aspirations of businesses to competent authorities so as to create a better business and investment environment in Vietnam,” Loc confirmed.
Mr. Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy Director of the General Department of Customs
Reform, modernization and trade facilitation have always been defined as a key strategic task of the General Department of Customs. In the coming time, under the direction of the Government and the Ministry of Finance, the General Department will make greater efforts to streamline customs procedures and support for enterprises to carry out easier import and export and improve national competitiveness in the customs sector.
From the above survey results, the General Department will further reform the organizational apparatus and improve the quality of civil servants; strengthen discipline and integrity of official duties; and change human resource management methods.
At the same time, to support businesses, the customs authority will continue to deploy and complete the 24/7 tax payment system and apply the automatic monitoring system at warehouses, yards and ports to quickly clear goods. It will step up information technology application to build an overall IT architecture of the customs sector towards technologically powered digital customs based on Technology 4.0 achievements to provide automated customs procedures of international standards.
By: Quynh Chi/Vietnam Business Forum
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