Building green zones at border gates based on harmonizing procedures


VCN – “Green zones” can be established at border gates on the basis of harmonizing procedures of the two sides, said Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh at the online seminar with the theme “What is the solution to prevent congestion at the border gate?” held by the Government Portal.

Building “green zones” at border gates based on harmonizing procedures
Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh

In recent years, the congestion of exports, especially exported agricultural and fishery products at the Northern border gates, has been continuously taking place. What are the solutions provided by the Customs sector to resolve this issue to expedite the Customs clearance amid the pandemic, Sir?

Before the outbreak of the pandemic, following the policy of the Party and the State in encouraging and facilitating exporters, the Customs sector, ministries and government agencies have created favorable conditions for exports.

The customs fee for an export shipment is only VND20,000. The customs procedures and documents are simple and processed via the Vietnam Automated Cargo Clearance System (VNACCS).

However, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many difficulties have occurred. Customs, as well as ministries and government agencies, have issued policies to remove problems for enterprises.

Regarding human resources, enterprises and production facilities have suffered difficulties in pandemic prevention and control. The Customs sector has mobilized human resources to perform tasks and increase working time.

The customs forces in the Northern border provinces have been affected by the pandemic. Customs officers have to work overtime to implement customs clearance for vehicles across the border gates.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs has directed the local customs departments to coordinate with local government agencies and regularly discuss with Chinese Customs.

Many say that it is necessary to expedite the shift from unofficial-quota trade to official-quota trade to reduce risks in exporting goods to China, especially agricultural products. What is your opinion?

It cannot be denied that the form of non-commercial exchange or unofficial-quota trade has promoted the development of the agricultural sector. Currently, the enterprises still apply this trade form.

However, the export form has shown many risks. Exporters will face risks when transporting goods across the border for sale. Meanwhile, if selling goods under the sale contract, these risks will be limited.

The selling of goods under unofficial-quota trade is easier. While selling under a sale contract and in accordance with international practices is more difficult. Therefore, enterprises must ensure quality and meet regular supply requirements to sign contracts. The Chinese partner must also have the capacity for the two sides to sign the contract.

Besides the unofficial-quota trade, commercial exports should be promoted and encouraged. In addition, it is expected that Vietnam’s agricultural products can reach the Chinese domestic market.

Currently, our products are mainly exported to border areas. Vietnamese agricultural products still have a lot of potential, I hope that state agencies, associations and businesses will provide more solutions.

At the end of 2021, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh assigned the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs) and localities to work with ministries and government agencies to build “green zones” and “green channels” in the border gate area to remove difficulties in import and export activities across the northern border provinces. In your opinion, what are the key factors to implement the policy?

In the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s agencies comply with the regulations of the Government and the Ministry of Health. Chinese agencies also abide by the Chinese Government’s regulations. The border gate is an adjacent area. The goods or citizens must satisfy the requirements of each country before entering. Chinese goods and people must comply with Vietnam’s regulations and vice versa.

There needs to be harmony to clear goods flow and prevent congestion. The performance of this country must be accepted by the other country. The model has been applied in the one-stop-shop inspection model at the Lao Bao Border Gate.

Although facing difficulties, the acceptance of the implementation of one-time procedures by the two sides will facilitate trade.

Of course, the performance must comply with the laws of both countries. The two sides need to closely coordinate with each other. I think that the establishment of “green zones” at the border gate according to the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh may be implemented on the basis of harmonizing the procedures of the two sides.

Thanks Deputy Director General !

By Ngoc Linh/Ngoc Loan


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