Proactively responding to the Covid-19 pandemic
In 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and was extremely complicated, the General Department of Customs took the initiative to offer solutions to maintain production and trade flow and overcome disruptions of the supply chain of goods under the direction of the Government in Resolution 105/NQ-CP dated September 9, 2021. In particular, the General Department of Customs requested customs branches throughout the country to quickly release aid, donated goods and goods for the pandemic prevention and control; allowed businesses to submit scanned copies certified by digital signatures for documents that must be submitted in paper copies; arranged enough officers to ensure smooth and timely customs clearance during the period of implementation of pandemic prevention measures.
In addition, to promptly and flexibly respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Customs agency created all favourable conditions for fast clearance of medical supplies, equipment, medicines, vaccines, and test biological products donated to Vietnam by foreign organizations and individuals and vice versa or imported by Vietnamese enterprises to serve the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic.
|Huu Nghi Customs officers carry out import and export procedures for enterprises. Photo: H.Nu|
The Customs agency proposed to the Government to assign the Ministry of Health, People’s Committees, and Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees of provinces and cities to allow goods sponsored for pandemic prevention and control to enjoy import tax and VAT policies like imported goods for humanitarian aid and non-refundable aid. Accordingly, from 2021, Customs agencies nationwide have decided to exempt, reduce or not collect import tax on essential goods for pandemic prevention and control, valued at ten billion dong
Strengthening IT application
Following the Government’s resolutions and the action plan of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs focused on developing solutions for administrative procedure reform. Specifically, in 2020 and 2021, the General Department of Customs proposed to reduce and simplify 5% of regulations and 5% of costs related to business activities according to Resolution 68/NQ-CP dated May 12, 2020, of the Government.
In addition, the customs agency proposed to abolish the copies of the identity cards of the two administrative procedures in Circular 22/2019/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance under the Master Plan to simplify administrative procedures, citizenship papers and databases related to population management; submitted for the promulgation of Decree 67/2020, which has cut and simplified 19 of 29 business conditions, cut 22 of 52 procedures for recognition of warehouses, yards and ports and duty-free shop.
Furthermore, the Customs sector has regularly performed well in the impact assessment of administrative procedures in the process of developing legal documents, making an essential contribution to ensuring the necessity, legitimacy and rationality of regulations on administrative procedures; regularly publicized administrative procedures to ensure the right to access information about administrative procedures of individuals, organizations and businesses; strengthened the control of administrative procedures in the whole sector.
Moreover, the Customs authority has built and effectively run several critical IT systems to implement e-customs procedures, automatic customs inspection and supervision. So far, the core customs procedures have been carried out automatically through the VNACCS/VCIS with 100% of customs units nationwide and more than 99% of enterprises. Customs declaration for Green channel goods takes only 1 to 3 seconds.
|Ho Chi Minh City Customs officers inspect imported and exported goods through Cat Lai Port amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: TH|
The General Department of Customs has signed with 44 banks for coordination for electronic tax collection and deployed online public services at level 3, reaching 91% of the total number of public services and integrating 98 administrative procedures on the National Public Service Portal. In addition, 259 administrative procedures of 13 ministries and agencies have been connected to the National Single Window, with more than 50,000 enterprises participating. Furthermore, the customs has officially connected the ASEAN Single Window to exchange electronic certificates of origin form D with nine ASEAN member countries. Furthermore, the General Department of Customs has launched the VASSCM by connecting and exchanging information with 495 ports, airports, warehouses, and yard operators subject to customs supervision.
In the context of globalization, trade liberalization and deepening international integration, trade flow between countries is increasing; Vietnam has joined 16 new-generation free trade agreements with comprehensive integration requirements; the industrial revolution 4.0 has been taking place firmly from the beginning of 2021, the General Department of Customs focuses on building Digital Customs towards a Smart Customs model.
|Customs development strategy to 2030: administrative reform – a prerequisite to realizing goals|
Accordingly, the Smart Customs model will have a high degree of automation, apply new and modern scientific achievements on a digital, paperless platform, ensure transparency, fairness, effectiveness and efficiency, and forecasting and adapt to the fluctuations of international trade and management requirements of the Customs as well as requirements for sharing, connecting with ministries and sectors in line with international standards and serving people and businesses.