Vietnam Korea boots cooperation and mutual assistance in customs

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Strong relationship

The visit takes place at a time when both countries are celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties, and the outcomes of cooperation between Vietnam and Korea are in a good stage (December 12, 1992 – December 12, 2022)

At the talks, in an atmosphere of trust, sincerity and openness, President Yoon Suk Yeol and President Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed their delight at the rapid and effective development of the friendship and cooperation between the two countries over the past 30 years, significant since the two countries upgraded their ties to “Strategic Cooperation Partnership” in 2009.

In particular, the two countries’ senior leaders highly appreciate the practical, effective and comprehensive relationship between the two countries in terms of cooperation and mutual support in the field of customs. Accordingly, the Agreement between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the Republic of Korea on cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of customs concluded on March 10, 1995 (after this referred to as Agreement 1995) has affirmed its essential contribution to economic development, facilitating trade and investment exchanges between the two countries.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol witnessed the Protocol signing ceremony on cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of customs.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol witnessed the Protocol signing ceremony on cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of customs.

Since the 1995 Agreement was signed, Vietnam Customs and Korean Customs have established and maintained a good and practical cooperative relationship, which has promoted trade growth between the two countries.

According to the Vietnam Customs, the Agreement 1995 includes commitments that are relatively progressive and not outdated in customs management according to traditional methods (such as cooperation in information exchange to serve the anti-smuggling and investigation, simplification of customs procedures and exchange of experts, etc.).

However, amid the development of global trade, the trend of applying technology in customs management in a modern way and the actual customs cooperation between the two sides which has expanded in both scope and level of cooperation in the field of anti-smuggling and investigation, and electronic customs data exchange, etc. Therefore, the two agencies agreed to update new cooperation content besides traditional cooperation content. Therefore, negotiating and signing the Protocol to amend the Agreement 1995 is a must and an appropriate approach.

Statistics show that, in just eleven months of 2022, Vietnam– ROK trade hit US$80.5 billion, of which exports reached US$22.5 billion and imports US$58 billion, exceeding the performance of the whole year 2021. With this result, Korea is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner, after the US and China. Bilateral trade is expected to hit US$90 billion by the end of this year.

Vietnam’s goods exported to ROK also enjoy a higher rate of preferential tariff treatment under bilateral and multilateral FTAs than other markets. Accordingly, the preferential C/O VK and preferential C/O AK rate reached US$5.8 billion and US$5.4 billion, respectively. As a result, the using of preferential C/O for Vietnamese goods exported to ROK reached nearly 51% of the total export turnover to this market in 2021, just behind India and Chile.

Enhance cooperation and assistance

Based on important achievements together with a strong belief in the future of cooperation in the field of customs between the two sides, Vietnam Customs and Korea Customs decided to sign a Protocol to meet the demand for cooperation in customs management in a modern way, including applying the achievements of information technology and the applications of industry 4.0, while still maintaining traditional customs cooperation contents stated in Agreement 1995; and to resolve problems on the authority of negotiation and signing of agreements on mutual recognition of authorized economic operators (AEO), saving time and human resource in the negotiation of two independent government-level documents on mutual recognition of AEO and the exchange of electronic customs data.

Vietnam Customs emphasized that the signing of the Protocol will create a full legal basis and a mechanism for cooperation, technical assistance and electronic information exchange between the two Customs authorities to detect and prevent violations of customs law; accelerate technology application in the customs at the time when ROK and Korea Customs are pioneering in research and application of achievements of industry 4.0.

Accordingly, the Protocol consists of four articles amending the definitions of customs law; violation acts, customs authorities, requesting party, and requested party, supplementing some definitions of customs territory, free trade agreements, competent authorities, AEO, mutual recognition agreements and information for the FTA implementation. In addition, the content of the Protocol also amends Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 of Agreement 1995; adds two new articles, including Article 4bis on Joint efforts to implement mutual recognition agreement and Article 5bis on the exchange of information to implement FTA.

Việt Nam committed to help peace process in Korea Peninsula as friend to both DPRK, RoK Việt Nam committed to help peace process in Korea Peninsula as friend to both DPRK, RoK

In particular, the content on the Protocol’s entry into force and its adoption is an integral part of the Agreement 1995.

According to the Protocol, the participating parties have the right and obligation to exchange information on customs declarations and electronic certificates of origin for goods traded between the two countries to facilitate trade and control customs that Customs authorities implement according to the recommendations of the World Customs Organization in the trend of connecting Customs authorities.
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