Efforts behind figures
When the Covid-19 pandemic was brought under control, along with the strong recovery of businesses, the Customs authority offered solutions to remove difficulties for production and business.
Mr. Bui Thanh San, Director of Ha Tinh Customs Department, said with the goal of “not wasting the time of businesses”, the unit has asked customs branches to arrange customs officers to directly receive and handle all procedures all week to help release import and export goods for businesses in the shortest time.
HCM City Customs Department, Hai Phong Customs Department, and Quang Ninh Customs Department are the same. In the past year, from the General Department level to the branch level, they have actively and aggressively implemented many solutions to help the state budget collection reach the highest figure ever and exceed the set targets. As of December 20, 2022, the Customs sector collected VND 434,000 billion, exceeding 23.29% of the estimate and 3.3% of the ambitious target, an increase of 14.28% year-on-year.
Looking back at the comprehensive results achieved by Customs in 2022, we can see that the main reason is the positive recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, the prolonged military conflict between Russia and Ukraine making the prices of all kinds of goods increase, especially the price of crude oil, imported coal, and natural gas, leading to an increase in import-export turnover of the country.
Another reason is the efforts and determination of the whole sector. Customs has actively advised the Ministry of Finance, the Government and the National Assembly to continue to have plans and policies to support people and businesses to quickly recover and improve production and business, contributing to economic recovery and development. In particular, in the work of budget collection, the sector required the application of IT in all operations.
In addition, the Customs sector has regularly monitored, analyzed and reviewed policies on tax exemption, reduction and refunds to support businesses to overcome difficulties. In particular, the Customs sector has actively worked with ministries, agencies and People’s Committees of provinces and cities to offer many solutions to accelerate the import turnover of production materials in areas such as Quang Nam, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Bac Ninh, Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City.
According to a representative of the Import-Export Tax Department, the above figures are a “miracle”, but truly reflect the customs sector’s efforts in reform in the accompanying businesses.
Sustainable revenue management
From September 2022, the production situation showed signs of decline. Meanwhile, it is forecast that in 2023, the world and domestic situation will continue to be complicated and unpredictable; the Russia-Ukraine military conflict will keep going; while China’s easing of pandemic prevention and control remains a question. Therefore, state budget collection in 2023 is a difficult task.
Through working with two Nghi Son and Binh Son Refinery Plants, it is known that the two are likely to be closed for maintenance in 2023, so the amount of imported petroleum is expected to be equivalent to 2022.
Meanwhile, in the draft Decree on Preferential Export Tariffs Schedule and Special Preferential Import Tariffs Schedule of Vietnam to implement the Free Trade Agreement between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the European Union in the period 2022-2027 (EVFTA), Vietnam’s Preferential Export Tariffs Schedule for the implementation of the EVFTA includes commodity codes, descriptions, and tax rates for each year, applicable to 737 tax lines from the date of signing until the end of December 31, 2027.
Accordingly, the average preferential export tax rate is 14.8% and 10.1% in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Thus, it is expected that the Customs sector in 2023 will collect about VND420,000 billion.
In Resolution 69/2022/QH15 on the state budget estimate in 2023, the National Assembly assigned the General Department of Customs the budget estimate of VND425,000 billion. Accordingly, the National Assembly requested the Government to further improve the collection system, strengthen revenue management, restructure revenues to ensure sustainability, and accelerate administrative reform and electronic tax administration.
According to Ms. Le Nhu Quynh, Director of the Import-Export Tax Department (General Department of Customs), to ensure sustainable revenue management, the Customs sector has strongly researched and applied IT in forecasting and estimating annual revenue, and improved processes and regulations in the implementation of tax and customs laws and policies.
In particular, the department will redesign tax management procedures in simplification and consistency with customs procedures as the basis to automate tax management processes from tax collection to tax payment, exemption, reduction, refund, non-tax collection and handling of overpaid tax, meeting the requirements of developing a smart Customs model with a high degree of automation.
The Customs sector aims to offer solutions to facilitate trade, improve the efficiency of state management, combat revenue loss and strive to complete and exceed the annual revenue estimate; take efforts to solve difficulties and problems in the process of carrying out customs procedures, customs clearance of goods and in production and business activities of businesses.