November 20, 2017 14:01

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General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can: Continue to fundamentally and comprehensively renovate the state management of customs

07:58 | 06/09/2017

VCN- The state management of customs has been focusing the resources of the customs to fundamentally and comprehensively innovate in order to improve effectiveness of management and meet the objectives to build Vietnam's modern and professional customs at the level of developed countries in the region and in the world - this is the main spirit which is emphasized by the General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can in an interview with the Customs Newspaper on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam Customs (10/9/1945-10/9/2017). The Customs Newspaper would like to introduce to our readers. 

general director of customs nguyen van can continue to fundamentally and comprehensively renovate the state management of customs
General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can

Over the past 72 years of construction and development, Vietnam Customs has established a long tradition of growth and significant contribution to the process of building, protecting and developing and integrating the country. On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam Customs, what are you thinking of?

After 72 years of building and growing up, Vietnam Customs has constantly grown and matured in all aspects to meet the requirements of the task, contributing to promoting the economic, social and integration of the country.

Apart from the regular duties specified in the Customs Law, the General Department of Customs is now entrusted by the Government to the Standing Committee of the ASEAN Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), The National Single Window (NSW) and the Facilitation of Trade; Permanent Steering Committee against Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit (National Commission 389); Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with ministries and branches in implementing the Scheme on solutions to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of specialized inspection activities. Customs is one of four forces in accordance with the law (together with the Army, Police, Forest Management) to be equipped with weapons and supportive tools to meet the requirements of anti-smuggling, trade fraud, protection of national sovereignty and economic security.

This affirms the position and role of Vietnam Customs increasingly recognized by the Party and State in the cause of national construction and development, especially Vietnam is deep and comprehensive international integration, in an unpredictable international context.

The results, achievements, and contributions of the whole sector are reflected in many fields of work, but an outstanding contribution to the task of collecting state budget. This is the duty throughout Vietnam Customs since its inception and every year we always make great efforts to accomplish our mission, contributing to the national financial potential and security.

Another important contribution is the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting. The sector has fiercely fought in the lines and groups, prevented and destroyed many smuggling and prohibited goods such as ivory, pangolins, and drugs; At the same time, to intensify the inspection and handling of cases of tax fraud and tax evasion, contributing to the fight against budget deficit and loss, creating a fair and transparent business and production environment, contributing to the protection of public security and safety.

In particular, in recent years, customs modernization has made important contributions to the effective implementation of the Government's policy of reforming administrative procedures, reducing the clearance time for goods, benefit the business activities of enterprises, improve the competitiveness of the country, attract foreign investment. This is also an important task to build Vietnam's modern professional customs as set out in the Customs Development Strategy up to 2020 approved by the Prime Minister.

Reform and modernization is an indispensable requirement, a central task throughout Vietnam Customs. In the coming time, what are the important goals and solutions that the whole sector should focus on, Director General?

Reform and modernization in customs have achieved important results, appreciated by the Government, ministries, especially the business community. But that result is the first step because this is the period we focus on modernizing, reducing the clearance time, such as building the legal basis, implementing VNACCS/VCIS automatic clearing system; reduce paperwork, administrative procedures; Implementing the electronic tax payment etc. In the current context and towards the further development of modern customs professional, the problem set for the Customs is to be parallel, both Two tasks are to facilitate trade and state management of customs in the direction of intrinsic and effective. Improving the management efficiency of the Customs will also facilitate the business community to do business right.

Therefore, in the present and subsequent years, the process of customs modernization should be directed towards higher objectives, ensuring the spirit of reform and reform of the Customs Law, and at the same time attach importance to improve the efficiency of customs inspection, control, and supervision in the direction of specialized and professional. Particularly, customs inspection and control tasks must be carried out on the basis of centralized management information systems before, during and after customs clearance, synchronous connection with modern equipment applications.

One of the goals set for the whole sector in reform and modernization is to be synchronous in all business processes and to connect the information system centrally with the involved ministries, sectors, and stakeholders. Could you clarify this direction?

Exactly. Sticking to the objective of the "Plan for Customs Reform, Development and Modernization in 2016-2020" (Decision No. 1614/QD-BTC dated 19th July, 2016 of the Ministry of Finance), Strategy Developing Customs until 2020, in the past one year, Customs has embarked on the implementation of the reform of administrative procedures, drastically at all stages from institutional development policy, law; deal with administrative procedures; to IT application etc.

The General Department of Customs has been focusing on improving the policy mechanism, especially the "backbone" documents that have a great impact on the business community, such as submitting to the Prime Minister the Decision No. 15/2017/QD-TTg on the list of goods subject to customs procedures at the border gate; focus on developing the Circular amending and supplementing Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC; Decree amending the Government's Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP detailing and implementing measures to implement the Customs Law on customs procedures, inspection, supervision, and control. Focusing on both trade facilitation and effective state management of customs; draft Decision of the Prime Minister regulating electronic procedures for entry, exit, and transit aircraft through the National Single Window.

Regarding the provision of online public services, the General Department of Customs has officially operated the online public service system since March 1st, 1977, with most of the core customs procedures provided at Levels 3 and 4.

Regarding the management and supervision of customs, we have officially launched the project of cargo monitoring at Hai Phong seaport from 15/8 and is expected to deploy at Noi Bai international airport on October 10th, 2017. Simultaneously develop a plan to guide the local customs departments to expand. In addition, the General Department of Customs is studying to build a system for management of processed goods, export production in new ways and finalizing the draft of data exchange standards between customs and enterprises.

It can be said that the promotion of supervision and management of goods in seaports, cargoes and goods transported independently; managing goods processing, production, export; transit goods etc., are being continued to apply modern monitoring tools (through IT applications, container scanning machines, surveillance cameras, etc.), contributing to improving the efficiency of customs supervision. Human resources and timely detection of violations. The implementation of monitoring import-export goods at seaports and airports will make an important contribution to simplify and harmonize customs procedures with the procedures of enterprises; timely exchange and update information between Customs and related parties. At the same time, it helps customs offices closely monitor the movements, changes, and status of goods from arrival to departure.

The tasks set out in the customs modernization process as mentioned above require the whole sector to continue to focus on drastic efforts in the present and subsequent years to create radical change. In the state management of customs in the direction of effectiveness and efficiency based on the application of comprehensive and uniform IT.

general director of customs nguyen van can continue to fundamentally and comprehensively renovate the state management of customs
Customs Department of Cai Mep port border gate seized used smuggled goods. Photo by Dang Nguyen.

In parallel with the reform and modernization process in the industry, the General Department of Customs is being entrusted by the Government and Ministry of Finance to be the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee for Mechanism ASEAN Single Window (ASW), National Single Window (NSW) and Trade Facilitation, how has this task been implemented by the Customs sector?

After being assigned by the Government, the Ministry of Finance, as the standing body, the General Department of Customs has actively worked with the ministries and sectors to develop the contents and propose the Steering Committee to organize Committee meetings under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue - Head of the National Steering Committee. Then, following the instructions of the Deputy Prime Minister, the General Department of Customs recently advised the Ministry of Finance to hold direct meetings with leaders of ministries and sectors to promote the implementation of NSW and other solutions in trade facilitation, especially reform, simplification of specialized inspection procedures. As a result, NSW has been involved in many new administrative procedures, expanding the scope and number of businesses.

Regarding specialized inspection of import and export goods under the Prime Minister's Decision No. 2026/QD-TTg, the General Department of Customs has chaired the ministries and branches to review the system of legal documents on management. Specialization and specialized examination to be amended or supplemented; to submit to the Prime Minister the current situation and results of specialized inspection of import and export goods and propose the Prime Minister to direct the specialized management ministries to apply measures to raise specialized inspection for import and export goods, reducing the time for goods clearance.

It can be said that, with the task assigned, the Customs sector has made great efforts, but in order to make clear improvements in the implementation of NSW, specialized inspection and overall rather than administrative reform, reducing time for goods clearance and trade facilitation under the Government's policy, the need for more and more effectiveness from relevant ministries and agencies is needed.

In the history of construction and development of Vietnam Customs, smuggling prevention and control is always a top priority task. In each stage of development of the country, the problem of smuggling, commercial fraud, and counterfeiting also always movements very complex, variable "diversified" with moves, tricks sophisticated wisdom measure. To fight effectively requires the Customs industry to constantly renew. May you make the deeper analyzing the changes in anti-smuggling work over time?

Smuggling prevention has never been an easy task. In the context of the country's deepening international integration, the Customs sector is facing new difficulties and challenges. International import-export activities, diversified and bustling international trade across the country also lead to the risk of violations in many areas, through various types of import and export; commodities are not only frauds, tax evasion but more and more prohibited goods causing harm to national security, community safety, intellectual property infringement.

Under that situation, the Customs sector has paid great attention to and implemented many measures to enhance the effectiveness of the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods through the application and combination of customs control and modern customs management methods such as risk management, post-clearance inspection, IT application and modern equipment such as container inspection system, the surveillance system etc. The leaders of the General Department of Customs also directed the Customs Control Force and functional units to follow the crime scene to capture and analyze information and timely prevent, fight effectively. In particular, focus on strings, groups and prevent, destroy many cases of smuggling, transport prohibited goods such as ivory, pangolins, drugs etc. At the same time intensified inspection, justice, prosecution or transfer authority to prosecute many cases of smuggling, fraud, and tax evasion, especially smuggling of prohibited goods, fraud in value, large tax etc.

At the same time, the General Department of Customs advised the leaders of the Ministry of Finance to well perform the role of the Standing Office of the 389 National Steering Committee; strengthening risk management, post-clearance inspection, contributing to the protection of public safety and security.

On the other hand, Customs has been expanding and strengthening international cooperation with customs authorities in the framework of cooperation with the World Customs Organization (WCO) in order to prevent and combat transnational crimes such as fake origin for enjoying preferential tariffs; fraud of value, quantity, the weight of goods. This is necessary in the context of deep integration into the world economy. Vietnam has been involved in many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.

The key to all success is ultimately human, so how does the force build up in the current context of Customs, Director General?

In the time to come, the workload set for the whole sector is extremely large and heavy, the customs sector always determines to meet the requirements of the task, the work of building the force and the human factor is decisive.

Therefore, the General Department of Customs is step by step reforming the human resource management model based on capacity based on job description. At the same time, elaborate and implement the Regulation on internal inspection and control of customs procedures. The Regulation helps each managerial level to have a general and detailed overview of the performance of the management task according to the actual scope and areas assigned for timely detection of signs of improper implementation of regulations and procedures, defying the direction of enterprises, executing officials to rectify and handle in time. Through this, the customs offices at all levels shall ensure the implementation of customs procedures within the framework of the law and well perform the tasks prescribed in the Customs Law.

In parallel with the training and upgrading of the quality of human resources, the leaders of the General Department of Customs have determined that the strict implementation of discipline, to perform the duties, to ensure that the law and order of the superiors are strictly observed, the timely and accurate reporting regime will improve the effectiveness of state management of Customs contribute to prevent, fight, resolve resolutely with individuals who show signs, acts causing troubles, harassment, law breaking or corruption while on duty.

In that focus on detecting and strictly dealing with individuals violating, the head of the unit to occur violations. Promote inspection and control to prevent and effectively prevent violations by officials.

In addition, customs officers and cadres in many areas are far away or out of the way, facing difficulties and facing many dangers in frontiers, border gates and seaports, so apart from the state treatment mechanism, equipped with equipment to serve the task, leaders of General Department of Customs has asked the units in the sector to strengthen the organization of activities to connect with local authorities, people and functional forces in the area to create solidarity, peace of mind to work for customs officers.

Solutions to strengthen the force building helps the customs sector to maintain its traditions, build and maintain a professional, modern, clean, and strong cadre image to maximize its achievements. Over the past 72 years, we continue to contribute positively to the cause of industrialization, modernization, and integration of the country.

On the occasion of the 72th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam Customs, on behalf of the leaders of the General Department of Customs and on behalf of my individual, through the Customs Newspaper, I would like to send my wishes for health, happiness and success to the Customs officer generations, the Customs workers in all parts of the country!

Thank the Director General!

By Thái Bình/ Huu Tuc