Customs creative in helping businesses overcome pandemic

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VCN – The General Department of Customs has organized meetings and offered solutions to support and accompany businesses to conduct fast customs clearance while ensuring state management on customs, fight against smuggling, trade fraud and the pandemic.

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The online meeting at the General Department of Customs. Photo: Q.H

On November 15th, the General Department of Customs held a virtual meeting on accompanying business to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting attracted the participation of the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF).

Launching channels to support businesses

Speaking at the meeting, Head of Reform Unit under the Customs Reform and Modernization Board (the General Department of Customs), Pham Xuan Truong said the fourth wave of the pandemic has taken a toll on businesses and disrupted supply chains so that many businesses have to narrow their scale and reduce staff including foreign direct investment enterprises (FDI).

“The Ministry of Planning and Investment has surveyed more than 500 FDI enterprises nationwide to assess the impacts of the pandemic and solutions proposed by the business community in the near future. Of 97% of businesses hit by the pandemic, 52% have been moderately affected and 44% have been severely affected.”

At end-October, the country recorded US$538.96 billion in trade, up by 22.5% or US$91.1 billion year-on-year. Of which, exports rose 17.3% to US$269.53 billion and imports rose 28.2% to US$269.42 billion.

FDI enterprises contributed US$373.79 billion (making up 69.35% of total import-export turnover of the whole country). Of which exports grew 20.7% year-on-year to US$197.36 billion and imports grew 30.9% year-on-year to US$176.43 billion.

In the Customs-Business partnership development plan for 2021, the General Department of Customs set the target of accompanying businesses to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. Customs has issued many mechanisms and policies, as well as proposed competent authorities issue mechanisms and policies related to customs procedures, tax policies, post-clearance inspection, anti-smuggling and sanctions.

Moreover, the top customs agency has organized online conferences, dialogues and seminars to support businesses; issued many directives to local customs departments on carrying out solutions to speed up customs clearance while ensuring the state management on customs, fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and disease prevention and control.

Local customs departments have been required to introduce solutions to remove difficulties and obstacles for businesses such as developing action plans and contingency plans to support businesses; opening information channels to business leaders, import-export employees; and establishing supportive working groups. Some customs departments of provinces and cities have introduced creative solutions to facilitate businesses amid the pandemic.

Speaking at the meeting, VBF’s Co-Chairman Funayama Tetsu highly appreciated the role of the General Department of Vietnam Customs and local customs departments in restoring the supply chain of domestic and international goods. The General Department of Customs has established an online dialogue channel to support the business community in general and VBF members in particular.

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Mr. Funayama Tetsu, Co-Chairman of Vietnam Economic Forum Alliance (VBF) spoke at the meeting. Photo: Q.H

Answering nearly 40 questions

Mr. Funayama Tetsu wishes to receive answers from departments and agencies under the General Department of Customs for questions sent by businesses before, during and after this meeting.

A representative of the Import-Export Tax Department noted some contents in implementing Decree 18/2021/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree 134/2016/ND-CP (referred to as Decree 134) on guidance on the implementation of the Law on Import Tax and Export Tax.

Nearly 40 questions from businesses were answered by representatives of the customs departments under the General Department of Customs. The questions were mainly on customs procedures, value, tax refund and channelization.

One of the issues of most concern for the business community is related to channelization (Green, Red, Yellow).

Answering this question, Deputy Director of the Risk Management Department (General Department of Customs), Bui Thai Quang said that in assessing legal compliance, if an enterprise makes only one mistake, it will not be called a compliant enterprise. The system updates each application and traces each administrative violation and has three channels for enterprise classification. Therefore, enterprises should seriously comply with the law on tax policies, product regimes and customs procedures.

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“The Customs authority only bases on the regulations of specialized management agencies to conduct the channelization. In which, 14 ministries and government agencies have issued specialized management documents, with lists of tens of thousands of different items,” said Mr. Bui Thai Quang.

By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang

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