National Single Window, Specialized Inspections Set for Further Improvement

Wed, 16 Nov 2022 16:34:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) recently cooperated with the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to hold a launching workshop on the findings from the survey “business satisfaction with implementation of administrative procedures through the National Single Window and specialized inspection procedures 2022”, which aimed to further facilitate the business community to carry out export and import procedures.

Much room for reform

In spite of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable global and political volatility, merchandise import and export is still an outstanding achievement of Vietnam. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam's total import and export value grossed US$668.5 billion in 2021, a year-on-year growth of 22.6%, and US$616 billion in the first ten months of 2022. The value is expected to exceed US$700 billion in 2022.

VCCI Vice President Hoang Quang Phong said these figures show the extraordinary efforts of Vietnamese companies to overcome difficulties. This result also demonstrated the great efforts of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries and agencies in reforming administrative procedures and facilitating importing and exporting activities of enterprises.

Survey results showed that businesses continue to expect relevant authorities to work harder to enhance the performance of National Single Window (NSW) and reforms of specialized inspection procedures to create advantages for the business community, he added.

Specifically, many legal documents on specialized inspections of imported and exported goods have been amended, supplemented, annulled, or promulgated to speed up reforms and facilitate enterprise development. In addition, central authorities have initially applied risk management principles in specialized inspection at different levels and in various forms. They have changed the time of quality inspection of imported goods from pre-inspection to post-inspection. Many specialized inspection procedures are brought to the electronic medium. Many overlapping regulations in specialized inspection have also been addressed. The percentage of shipments subject to inspection decreased in 2021.

Efforts of Vietnam Customs in simplifying administrative procedures

To make breakthroughs in specialized inspections of import and export merchandise, the General Department of Vietnam Customs advised the Ministry of Finance to ask the Prime Minister to issue Decision 38/QD-TTg dated January 12, 2021 approving the "Reforming food safety and quality inspection of imported goods" project. On that basis, since 2021, the General Department has focused on compiling and submitting a draft decree on management mechanisms, methods, order and procedures of State inspection of quality and State inspection of food safety of imported goods to the Government to lay a foundation for executing reform contents in Decision 38/QD-TTg.

The report on business satisfaction with the implementation of new specialized management and inspection procedures released by VCCI in collaboration with the General Department of Vietnam Customs on November 3 clearly showed these results.

Notably, surveyed companies opined on the impacts of time and cost of compliance with specialized inspection procedures. Specifically, based on the 1-10 cost scale, in terms of time, if traditional methods are applied, record declaration is given 5-5.04 points and record reception and settlement scored 5-5.20 points. These two important stages are scored 3-3.25 points and 3-3.52 points by enterprises, respectively, if they are executed on the NSW Portal. Similarly, by cost, record declaration is given 4.48-5 points and record reception and settlement is scored 4,91-5 points if conducted with traditional methods. Respective scores are 2-3.1 points and 3-3.27 points if performed on the NSW Portal.

The survey on specialized inspections conducted by VCCI and the General Department of Vietnam Customs also recorded some reflections from the business community. Most strongly support efforts of the Ministry of Finance, particularly the customs sector, in reforming specialized inspection. However, according to the survey, only 60% of respondents are satisfied with the feedback from specialized management agencies. Hence, they suggested that central authorities that provide specialized inspection procedures should cooperate with professional agencies and the General Department of Customs to build a mechanism of a national information panel for customs and specialized inspection procedures. In this mechanism, support personnel should include representatives of customs and relevant bodies.

The survey also showed that carrying out some stages in specialized inspections on the NSW Portal helps reduce time and cost as mentioned above. Therefore, businesses want NSW to be applied faster and more thoroughly in order to minimize the paperwork to be submitted and to switch to digital forms as much as possible.

Mr. Bradley Bessire, Acting Director of USAID Vietnam, said: “USAID believes that government-business dialogue is very important. Collaboration between governmental agencies and the private sector will lead to greater transparency and effective reforms. If implemented, the survey findings will help promote further customs reforms. We need to congratulate Vietnam Customs as these reforms are facilitating businesses, traders and investors to do business in Vietnam.”

By: Le Hien (Vietnam Business Forum)



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