A year full of hardships
In 2022, the Chinese side insisted on the “Zero Covid” policy, so import-export activities have faced many difficulties and restrictions, many auxiliary border gates have not yet re-operated, which also indirectly caused a decline in trade flow, said Director of Lang Son Customs Department Nguyen Hong Linh.
Facing those difficulties, Lang Son Customs has stepped up administrative reform, creating advantages and promptly removing difficulties for import-export enterprises; issued plans against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting; accelerated post-clearance audit, information collection and analysis on risk management and online supervision; proactively worked with authorities at the border gate to organize channelization in case of congestion to quickly release goods and minimize costs for enterprises.
|The conference. Photo: H. Nu
Given those efforts, as of December 10, 2022, Lang Son customs recorded US$25,727.3 million in trade. Of which, the trade turnover of goods going through customs procedures at the customs department was US$2,788 million, a decrease of 26.3% year-on-year. In addition, the unit processed 96,097 customs dossiers of 2,563 enterprises via the VNACCS/VCIS.
According to Nguyen Hong Linh, the decrease in trade turnover is due to the China’s “Zero Covid” policy, Lang Son provinces has only opened four border gates including Huu Nghi international border gate, Chi Ma border gate, Dong Dang international railway station border gate and Tan Thanh auxiliary border gate.
However, the daily customs clearance capacity has not meet the actual needs, so Chinese side has shifted export activities to other border gates, which has greatly affected import and export activities in Lang Son province.
Although the unit has developed a plan to carry out solutions to perform the state budget collection task from the begging of the year, by the end of December 10, 2022, the department collected VND4,059.5 billion, equal to 73.8% of the assigned target and a decrease of 46.1% over the same period in 2021.
Director General Nguyen Hong Linh said, in addition to China’s “Zero-Covid” policy, the General Administration of Customs of China issued Orders 248 and 249 on “Regulations on Registration Management for Foreign Imported Food Manufacturers”, and “Measures on Import-Export Food Safety Management”, which has directly affected exports of agricultural products and fruits of Vietnam to the Chinese market, especially agricultural products and fruits that have not signed the Protocol on phytosanitary checks, are required to undergo 100% physical inspection, leading to prolonged customs clearance time.
In addition, the tariff reduction roadmap under the ASEAN-China Trade Agreement for the 2018-2022 period made many product streamlines with valid C/O form E enjoy low tax rates (0%-5%), affecting the trade turnover of the department. Because, the imported goods through Lang Son Customs Department are mainly goods entitled to this preferential policy such as semi-trailers, special-use vehicles, consumer goods, furniture, chemicals, production materials and fruits.
Moreover, the policy of VAT exemption and reduction according to Decree No. 15/2022/ND-CP made many goods imported regularly through Lang Son province enjoy 8% instead of 10%, affecting the trade turnover through the Lang Son area.
Focus on solutions to increase revenue in 2023
To strive to complete the assigned tasks, in 2023, Lang Son Customs is determined to focus on solutions to review and effectively exploit revenues and strengthen anti-revenue loss. Accordingly, Lang Son Customs will continue solutions for trade facilitation, removing difficulties for enterprises; step up coordination and exchange with the Zhuang Autonomous Region of Guangxi Province, China to promptly solve problems in customs clearance.
Furthermore, the department will focus on reviewing the tax debt situation; scaling up the fight against revenue loss through classification, value, origin of goods, tax exemption, reduction, refund, and non-tax collection; and well perform supervision, management, post-customs clearance audit, risk management to achieve the highest result in revenue collection.
|Deputy Director General Luu Manh Tuong delivers a speech at the conference. Photo: H.Nu
The department will effectively supervise and manage people and means of entry and exit, import and export goods through the area, improve customs clearance capacity; closely monitor import-export activities at the border; closely follow working contents at the talks and conclusions of the leaders of the Provincial People’s Committee to propose the implementation of solutions to facilitate import-export activities at the border gates.
Besides, the Customs Enforcement Team and border-gate customs units will closely monitor the area, and effectively organize the implementation of plans for inspection, control, and fight against smuggling and trade fraud through the area.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Customs Luu Manh Tuong and Ms. Doan Thu Ha, Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People’s Committee highly appreciated the efforts of Lang Son Customs Department in recent years, especially efforts in revenue collection and anti-smuggling.
However, it is forecast that in 2023, there are still unstable developments in import-export activities and border trade. Therefore, the Deputy Director General said that from the beginning of 2023, Lang Son Customs Department should focus on directing and drastically implementing directives and resolutions of the Government and the province in performing tasks of socio-economic development and state budget collection. In which, the department will continue solutions to achieve and exceed the set targets; implement solutions to attract and retain import-export enterprises through the area, and create maximum favorable conditions for import-export enterprises.
Furthermore, the department will continue to promote anti-smuggling and anti-trade fraud; continue to give good advice to the province in border gate management; step up the application of information technology in operations, increase transparency, reduce paperwork, and reduce customs clearance time; and follow administrative discipline.
In addition, Lang Son Customs must direct its customs branches to proactively collect, analyze and process information, conduct inspection by sampling method or inspection when there are signs of violations for enterprises and import and export goods through the area; pay special attention to inspecting items with high taxable value, high tax rate, sensitive items, and questionable Green channel shipments; strengthening the implementation of post-clearance audit for imported goods such as electronic equipment, auto components, electronic components, consumer goods, etc. to identify enterprises that do not comply with the law.