Reviewing problems to support businesses affected by the Covid 19 pandemic

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VCN – In order to continue to facilitate import and export activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic in the spirit of Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP dated October 11 of the Government, the General Department of Customs will continue to review and synthesize difficulties and obstacles of businesses affected by the pandemic.

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Professional activities at Hanoi Express Customs Branch. Photo: N.Linh

The Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) promptly implemented solutions and policies related to customs inspection and supervision to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In particular, regarding customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision for import and export goods, the Customs authority allows enterprises to submit documents in electronic form (scanned copies certified by digital signature) in the customs dossier for clearance of goods and the establishment of support teams, dealing directly with customs procedures for import and export goods.

Guidelines for considering administrative violations in the field of customs for regulations on time limit for customs procedures due to force majeure situations; temporarily not inspecting the preservation of goods at the storage locations in the locked down areas until these areas are clear; coordinate and guide the implementation of solutions to relieve congestion and overload at Cat Lai port; at the same time, temporarily suspend the organization of compliance inspections and assessments for businesses with no signs of violation.

In addition, the General Department of Customs directs and guides the development of favorable conditions and quick clearance of shipments of medical supplies, equipment, medicines, vaccines, biological products for testing, aid, donation from foreign countries or goods imported by domestic organizations and individuals to support, sponsor, donate to the Government, the Ministry of Health, the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities, the Committees of the Fatherland Front of provinces and cities to serve urgent requirements of pandemic prevention and control, treatment and medical examination.

The General Department of Customs directs the units to organize, administer and arrange human resources to ensure the necessary number of civil servants in relevant professional departments to work on administrative days, holidays, public holidays and outside office hours to ensure continuous, timely and correct customs clearance operations.

Support for fast customs clearance procedures for exporting agricultural products through the northern border provinces (such as directing customs clearance on the same day; arranging officials and civil servants to handle customs clearance procedures and supervise exported agricultural products through the border gate outside office hours and public holidays; prioritize and arrange vehicles that have completed customs clearance procedures before they can go through the border gate).

In addition, the General Department of Customs has participated in developing guidelines and policies to support import and export activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) has completed and promulgated Circular No. 82/2021/TT-BTC dated September 30, 2021 providing regulations on customs supervision of imports transported from border gates in case imported goods are congested or at risk of congestion at seaports where social distancing is implemented according to Directive No. 16/CT – TTg dated March 31, 2021 of the Prime Minister on the urgent measures to prevent and control the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to commenting on documents advised by ministries and branches to the Government and the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance continues to study and propose to the Prime Minister to include in the Government agenda to consider and approve a Resolution to solve difficulties and problems in the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic on allowing the extension of the suspension period of duty-free shops and allowing export processing enterprises to rent warehouses outside industrial parks, export processing zones, high-tech zones to store goods under the jurisdiction of the Government.

Currently, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) has completed the draft Circular on “Regulations on customs procedures for imported goods serving urgent requirements of Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control; submit documents in customs dossiers and conduct physical inspection of exported and imported goods in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic” and sent a document to the Ministry of Justice, reporting to the Prime Minister on the issuance of a Circular according to simplified procedures.

Currently it is consulting ministries, branches, ministerial-level agencies, agencies of the Government; People’s Committees of provinces and centrally run cities for the draft Circular.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose the Government to issue Resolution No. 124/NQ-CP dated October 6, 2021 on continuing to extend the time limit for storing petrol and oil temporarily imported for re-export for aviation supply to the end of December 2021, but not yet able to re-export, and issued documents guiding the Customs Departments of provinces and cities to implement Decree No. 124/NQ-CP to remove difficulties for aviation petroleum suppliers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to continue to facilitate import and export activities in many localities across the country and in the spirit of Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP of the Government, in addition to continuing to implement the above groups of solutions, the General Department of Customs will review and summarize the difficulties and problems of businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to study and submit to competent authorities to implement measures to remove obstacles and facilitate import and export activities.

By N. Linh/ Kieu Oanh

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