|Customs officers of Yen Binh Customs Team, Thai Nguyen Customs Branch (Bac Ninh Customs Department) at work. Photo: Quang Hung
The Customs sector has reformed administrative procedures in all operations before, during and after customs clearance. The Customs sector is also one of the pioneers in applying risk management in customs operations. Furthermore, based on information technology (IT), the Customs sector has developed and provided solutions for digitization and electronification in the implementation of customs procedures to improve service quality, facilitate import-export activities and attract investment, which people and businesses appreciate.
That is the premise for the Customs sector to continue to realize the overall goals set out in the Customs Development Strategy to 2030, one of the eight sub-strategies of the Financial Strategy to 2030.
They are building a modern and professional Vietnam Customs, on par with the Customs administrations of developed countries in the world, leading in the implementation of the Digital Government with the Digital Customs model and Smart Customs, improving the service quality to people and businesses in customs clearance and management; effectively managing tax collection for import and export activities; facilitating legal trade, tourism and transportation activities across borders, creating a transparent and fair import-export environment, contributing to improving national competitiveness; and preventing smuggling, trade fraud and illegal cross-border transportation of goods, contributing to ensuring social security and safety and protecting national interests and sovereignty.
After nearly four months of launching the Customs development strategy for 2030, on September 13, 2022, the General Department of Customs advised and submitted to the leaders of the Ministry of Finance for signing and promulgating the Ministry’s Action Plan on carrying out the Customs Development Strategy to 2030 (according to Decision 1854/QD-BTC) and the Customs Reform, Development and Modernization Plan to 2025 (according to Decision 1855/QD-BTC). These are the first documents and the “guideline” for the Customs sector to realize the goals in the Strategy.
It can be said that the 10-year action plan will be a basis for the Customs sector to organize inspection, supervision, review and assessment, and learn from experience in the implementation of the Customs Development Strategy to 2030, and as a basis for coordination with relevant agencies to report to the Prime Minister on adjusting objectives and contents of the Customs Development Strategy to 2030 in case of necessity
The participation of the whole sector
After nearly one month, on October 3, 2022, the General Department of Customs issued Decision 2158/QD-TCHQ on the task assigned to each unit about implementing the Customs reform, development and modernization plan for 2025.
Accordingly, at the General Department level, the General Department of Customs assigns specific tasks to Departments: Information Technology and Customs Statistics, Import-Export Tax, Anti-smuggling and Investigation, Risk Management, Organization and Personnel. For example, in the application of risk management, the Risk Management Department is assigned to preside over and coordinate with units in the sector to develop solutions on advanced scientific applications of the 4.0 industrial revolution, Big Data integration and Intelligent Analysis to improve risk management in the decision-making of screening for import and export goods.
Accordingly, in 2022 and 2023, the Risk Management Department has been building an IT system to support risk analysis and assessment and identify key points to decide on goods screening to meet Digital Customs. Further, from 2022 to 2025, the department has been working with other units to build the functions of the IT system to meet the digitization of information, information and data connection and automatically support analysis to identify key points for screening.
At the customs department level, in October and November 2022, the working group of the leaders of the General Department of Customs built a working program with 11 important customs departments, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh and Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Lang Son, Quang Ninh, Ha Nam Ninh, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Joining the group were representatives of four expert groups to develop the Customs Development Strategy to 2030, including Institutions; Operations; organizational apparatus and human resources; IT. At the working sessions, the working group also noted the active participation of the customs departments in developing the draft to issue the Reform, Development and Modernization Plan soon.
As of December 21, there have been eight customs departments of provinces and cities submitting to the leaders of the General Department of Customs to sign the plan on customs reform, development and modernization until 2025. Other 10 departments are submitting to the General Department of Customs the plan. The draft plan of 17 local customs departments has met the requirements but still has some limitations that need to be adjusted before submitting to the leaders of the General Department of Customs.
Implementing the Customs Development Strategy to 2030 still has a long way ahead. However, the recent actions of the Customs sector have shown great political determination, bringing about positive changes and initiatives for the period of reform, development and modernization of Customs in the next five and ten years.