The General Department of Vietnam Customs strives to promote import and export growth


Scene of the conference. Photo: T.Bình
Scene of the conference. Photo: T.Bình

Import-export turnover reached nearly US$178 billion

According to the report at the conference, entering 2024, closely following the plans and directions of the Party and Government, along with a high spirit of determination, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has launched an emulation movement with the theme of 2024 “Solidarity – Discipline – Creativity, determining to promote digital transformation in the Customs sector” to complete tasks in 2024. In the first quarter, all aspects of the industry’s work achieved many positive results.

With solutions to reform administrative procedures, modernize customs, and facilitate trade, in the first quarter of 2024, the country’s import and export activities witnessed a remarkable recovery and growth.

Specifically, turnover in the first quarter reached US$177.96 billion, an increase of 15.4% (equivalent to an increase of US$23.79 billion) compared to the same period in 2023. In particular, exports reached US$92.88 billion, an increase of 16.8% (corresponding to an increase of US$13.33 billion); imports reached US$85.08 billion, an increase of 14% (equivalent to a growth of US$10.46 billion). Thus, the trade balance in the first quarter of 2024 experienced a surplus of US$7.8 billion.

Regarding the implementation of state revenue collection tasks, this was determined to be the top key task of the entire sector. Right from the beginning of the year, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued Directive No. 371/CT-TCHQ on synchronous implementation, drastic solutions to facilitate trade, improve state management effectiveness, and prevent revenue loss in implementing state revenue collection tasks in 2024, including 5 general tasks and specific solutions. For each area, drastic implementation is required.

In the first quarter of 2024, the whole industry earned VND88,354 billion, reaching 23.6% of the assigned estimate, declining 4.2% over the same period last year. The reason for the decrease in revenue is that the taxable import turnover of some main products dropped sharply compared to the same period in 2023. Typically, the imported petroleum group decreased by 4% in value, reducing revenue by about VND750 billion; the group of imported CBU cars reduced by 19.3% in volume and 23.2% in value, dropping revenue by about VND4,880 billion.

In addition, the amount of Value Added Tax was reduced when implementing Decree No. 94/2023/ND-CP in the first quarter of 2024 which was more than VND4,000 billion…

Focus on fighting to prevent smuggling

Regarding the prevention and combat of smuggling, the General Department of Vietnam Customs assessed that in the first quarter of 2024, the situation of smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeit goods, and illegal transportation of goods took place complicatedly, especially during the Tet holiday 2024. This was the time when the demand for consumer goods, food, and drinks increased, thus smugglers increased the frequency of activities to gain illegal profits, causing instability in prices and quality of goods, affecting consumers’ health.

Common methods and tricks are as follows: incorrect declaration of product name, unit of measure, and quality of goods for items in the list of imported goods subjected to risk management of customs authority to reduce the amount of payable tax.

Declaring the name of the goods and does not include all elements that directly affect the value of the goods such as brand, size, type, quality, and use… leading to inaccurate identification of suspicious signs and taxable value.

For exported goods, when businesses receive channel classification information (exemption from physical inspection of goods), they can send containers of goods that do not comply with the declaration for export; take advantage of preferential policies in processing and export production; incomplete declaration of information about number and date of issuance of license to import and export precursors…

The situation of criminals illegally trading and transporting narcotics and precursors across the border is extremely complicated on air routes and sea routes. Activities of gangs and transnational drug-related crime lines take advantage of preferential policies to attract investment and commercial activities to seek to establish businesses in Vietnam to transport vehicles, equipment, and raw materials, rent warehouses… to serve production activities, illegally transporting drugs from abroad into Vietnam and continuing to send them to third countries for consumption.

In addition, imported precursors also posed a potential risk of being exploited, or used to illegally manufacture and produce drugs.

Faced with the above situation, as an advisory and assisting agency for the Standing Agency of the National Steering Committee 389 and the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has concretized and implemented key plans and work programs in each area, to warn and guide localities on anti-smuggling in customs control areas.

For post-clearance audit, the whole sector has carried out 339 inspections, including 132 cases of on-site inspections at customs declarants’ headquarters and 207 inspections at customs headquarters. The total amount of tax assessment and administrative fines was VND77.6 billion, which has been collected into the state budget in the amount of VND71.52 billion.

Accelerating in the second quarter

Building a work program in the second quarter of 2024, the entire Customs sector focuses on well-implementing groups of tasks with specific goals and solutions.

Regarding administrative reform, simplifying and automating customs procedures and facilitating trade, focusing on key task groups: perfecting policy mechanisms; administrative reform; modernizing customs; national single window and ASEAN single window mechanism; application of information technology and online public services; customs inspection and supervision; revenue collection; risk management; customs assessment.

Regarding anti-smuggling work, continue to promote the advisory role for the Standing Agency of the National Steering Committee 389 and the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance to strengthen control and fight against smuggling, trade fraud, illegal transportation of goods across borders on all routes. Focusing on implementing the Customs Control Plan 2024 of the General Department of Vietnam Customs; strengthening forecasting and warning about smuggling and trade fraud methods throughout the industry.

Focusing on promoting drug control measures in all stages, lines, and areas, with the core elements being customs branches and specialized drug control forces of local customs departments; focus on controlling, detecting and preventing drug-related crimes in customs operating areas; if it is outside the area, proactively coordinate with relevant competent forces.

At the conference, under the direction of Deputy Director General Nguyen Van Tho, representatives of departments and agencies of the General Department and local customs departments gave speeches to further clarify the unit’s work results. At the same time, showing determination and efforts to carry out key tasks and solutions to complete the goals and tasks of the second quarter, creating momentum for a breakthrough in the last months of the year to complete the tasks for the whole year 2024.

The Deputy Director General requested units to focus on key contents: strengthening customs management and supervision, especially in some areas with limited customs inspection and supervision areas; continuing to research solutions to implement Digital Customs and Smart Customs; the implementation process must ensure safe operation of existing information technology systems to ensure customs clearance and management requirements of the sector; the use of equipment for work, repair of damaged machinery and incidents must be timely…

“Smuggling activities still have many potential complications, especially the situation of drug trafficking and drug transportation at sea with GPS tracking; gold smuggling…, units must always be vigilant and deploy synchronous and drastic professional measures to promptly detect, arrest, and handle violations,” the Deputy Director General emphasized.

Regarding staff organization, it is necessary to urgently complete the draft Decision to replace Decision No. 65/2015/QD-TTg stipulating the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the General Department of Vietnam Customs; build job positions to match the new salary regime; strengthen discipline…

Offering solutions to carry out key tasks in the future, Deputy Director of Import-Export Duty Department Nong Phi Quang discussed the situation of synchronously and drastically implementing solutions to facilitate trade and improve state management efficiency, prevent revenue loss in implementing state revenue collection tasks in 2024; Deputy Director of Information Technology and Customs Statistics Department Pham Duyen Phuong discussed the effective implementation of the ASEAN Single Window mechanism preparing for the implementation of Digital Customs…

For local customs departments, Deputy Director of HCM City Customs Department Phan Minh Le discussed customs supervision in the area, difficulties, problems and proposed recommendations; Deputy Director of Hanoi Customs Department Hoang Quoc Quang discussed some outstanding key work results of Hanoi Customs Department in the first quarter and made recommendations and suggestions; Deputy Director of Hai Phong Customs Department Tran Manh Hung discussed some outstanding work aspects of Hai Phong Customs Department in the first quarter of 2024; Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department Nguyen Anh Tai reported on the implementation of digital border gates and smart border gates; Deputy Director of Quang Tri Customs Department Ho Sy Tri reported on his experience fighting drug crimes; Deputy Director of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Customs Department Dam Manh Hieu discussed revenue collection task…

Speaking after the conference, Deputy Director General Nguyen Van Tho emphasized that despite facing many difficulties, with the drastic leadership and direction of the General Department’s leaders, the efforts of officials, civil servants and employees and workers throughout the industry, in the first quarter, the Customs sector achieved many positive results.

Regarding work tasks for the second quarter and the coming time, the Deputy Director General requested the entire sector to focus on well implementing the tasks and solutions proposed in the report of the General Department of Vietnam Customs. It is necessary to focus on key task groups such as continuing to complete projects following the assigned roadmap; and continue to focus on the task of reforming administrative procedures and modernizing customs.

Regarding the task of trade facilitation, Deputy Director General requested to continue implementing the National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window, and focusing on promoting the implementation of tasks related to the implementation of Digital Customs and smart Customs.

For customs inspection and supervision, promptly amend relevant processes in appropriate with reality; Review and re-evaluate warehouses, yards, inspection and gathering locations for import and export goods.

Regarding international cooperation, according to the plan, the Conference of ASEAN Directors General of Customs will be held in the second quarter, relevant units need to uphold a sense of responsibility to complete tasks, ensuring a successful organization of the conference.

Furthermore, continue to closely follow the plan of the General Department of Vietnam Customs to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam Customs (September 10, 1945 – September 10, 2025) in 2025.

At the same time, the entire sector needs to continue to strengthen discipline.


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