|Online conference to implement Decision 1399/QD-TCHQ on the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with the customs law, dated September 6, 2022. Photo: Quang Hung|
Establish a “quick response” team
In recent years, the Customs authority has actively implemented many activities to encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with the customs law, thereby ensuring a balance in creating favorable conditions for well- complied ones to comply with the law and implementing strict control for non-compliant enterprises. Therefore, the Customs authority has encouraged enterprises to voluntarily provide information to improve the quality of the information in enterprise dossiers, serving to classify the compliance level and risk level of customs declarants. At the same time, a plan to collect and process information each year in a timely issue.
If the pilot implementation is implemented effectively, through preliminary review and summary of compliance levels, enterprises benefit from the services of the Customs authority increase. Therefore, enterprises participating in the Invisible Program will be “propagandists” to disseminate to other businesses in the community in each field of Industry towards compliance and self-compliance with customs laws.
(Excerpt from the speech of Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong at the Online Conference to implement Decision 1399/QD-TCHQ held on September 6, 2022)
Since January 1, 2021, the Customs authority has publicized the compliance level of enterprises on the Customs Portal (https://www.customs.gov.vn/) and guided enterprises to look up their compliance level, promptly answering enterprises’ questions about compliance level. Additionally, to improve the level of compliance and support enterprises in the process of customs clearance at the General Department of Customs level, the Customs-Enterprise and stakeholders Partnership Development Plan is issued every year. Furthermore, at the customs department level, the customs departments: Hai Phong, Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai also regularly organize business dialogue conferences to solve difficulties., support the business community in the implementation of customs procedures, provide information on regulations and policies of the Customs authority.
However, out of more than 190,000 enterprises with import-export activities assessed on the risk management system, over 10% of enterprises comply with medium and high levels, accounting for over 83% of turnover and import-export declarations. On the other hand, up to 89% of enterprises are in low compliance or non-compliance, accounting for over 16% of turnover and import-export declarations. This shows the need to pay attention to the low- and non-compliant group. Grasping that as well as with the desire to accompany and help enterprises self-assess their compliance level, thereby taking support and helping businesses to comply voluntarily, the General Department of Customs has issued Decision No. Decision No. 1399/QD-TCHQ dated 15/7/2022 on promulgating a pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to comply with customs laws voluntarily.
The Program has set a target that 80% of participating enterprises can increase their compliance level or maintain a high level of compliance, and over 80% of participating enterprises are satisfied with the support measures of the Customs. And after 2 years of implementation, 100% of enterprises participating in the Program have not been handled for customs law violations, assessed for legal compliance at level 2 (high compliance) and level 3 (average compliance). Next, after 5 years of implementing the Program, the percentage of enterprises complying with level 2 and level 3 striven to increase by over 20% of the total number of enterprises engaged in import and export activities.
To spread the Program throughout the Industry, a Task Force to implement the Program was established with 123 members who are cadres and civil servants with good expertise and expertise in units such as the Risk Management Department, the Legal Department, the Department of Customs Modernization and Reform, the Customs Supervision and Administration Department, and the Department of Customs Import and Export Tax, Customs Inspection Department (General Department of Customs) and 35 provincial and municipal customs departments. This “quick response” team is responsible for carrying out support activities for the whole Industry in terms of consulting and guiding following the commitments in the Memorandum of Understanding for Program member enterprises upon request. At the same time, the Program is to record the membership and the process of participating in the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with the customs law on the enterprise file and the professional information systems of the Customs authority for enterprises participating in the Program to ensure the timely, effective implementation of support activities for the right audience.
Commend and reward businesses with good compliance
Over the past time, with the role of coordinator, the Risk Management Department has closely coordinated with the Customs Departments of provinces and cities, organizations and business associations to organize 4 conferences to propagate, introduce and promote the Program in 4 regions North, Central, South and Southwest. In addition, the Department has carried out propaganda content on the mass media and disseminated and posted the Program’s activities and results on the Customs Portal (http://customs. gov.vn) and the Electronic Customs Journal (http://haiquanonline.com.vn).
At the customs departments, most of the units have actively held a conference to propagate and disseminate the contents of the Program to the business community, and at the same time, signed a memorandum of understanding and action plans. For example, at Bac Ninh Customs, the unit manages 5,615 enterprises carrying out customs procedures at affiliated branches. According to statistics on the classification of legal compliance for customs declarants, more than 58.4% of enterprises have a low compliance level (level 4), and 23.6% have a medium compliance level (Level 4). level 3), and the rest are level 1 and level 2 enterprises (priority enterprises, high compliance).
Director of Bac Ninh Customs Department Tran Duc Hung said that to implement the Program, the unit selected 12 enterprises and signed a memorandum of understanding and action plan. During the implementation process, Bac Ninh Customs will summarize the specific results achieved and, at the same time, organize an evaluation of the effectiveness brought to the Customs agency and the business community, thereby reporting and proposing to the General Department of Customs. Furthermore, customs will expand the number of participating enterprises the next time. This is one of the prerequisites to standardizing administrative procedures and committing to trade facilitation, moving towards implementing Digital Customs and Smart Customs.
“Participating in the Program, first and foremost, brings benefits to the business community while improving the management efficiency of Customs and state management agencies, creating a healthy business environment, improving productivity and national business competitiveness. Therefore, enterprises have both the benefits and the obligation to comply with the law by closely coordinating with the Customs to re-evaluate the current situation, specifying the factors and causes affecting the compliance level, and then have a specific plan to improve and raise the level of compliance gradually,” Mr Tran Duc Hung expressed his wish.
Along with Bac Ninh Customs, Hai Phong Customs Department is also one of the first units in the whole Industry selected by the General Department of Customs to implement the Program (together with customs departments: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai), Hai Phong Customs Department has actively implemented related contents, selected and signed with 23 enterprises, which are ones with high numbers of declarations and large turnover and high tax amount.
“Over the years, Hai Phong Customs has made many efforts to reform administrative procedures, modernize customs, create favourable conditions for the business community in import and export activities, and consider enterprises partners. Therefore, when the General Department of Customs implemented the Program, the unit actively implemented it, especially capturing the business community’s thoughts, aspirations and needs to deliver effective support solutions. On that basis, Hai Phong Customs Department first targets those with large declarations, turnover and tax payments. In signing cooperation contracts, Customs Department must be in charge of deploying solutions and most effectively support enterprises to grasp and comply with the law,” said Deputy Director of Hai Phong Customs Department Nguyen Kien Giang.
To improve the Program’s effectiveness, the Risk Management Department has developed implementation plans, which coordinate with the Customs Departments of provinces and cities to monitor and evaluate the process within the Program’s framework. At the same time, it is necessary to report to the Leaders of the General Department of Customs to commend and reward enterprises for good compliance and positive contributions to the Program and, at the same time, warn, remind and revoke membership status for non-performance or breach of commitment ones. In addition, training programs should be set up so enterprises can promptly update, master and comply with new regulations related to risk management activities in particular and the import-export and transit sectors in general.