December 18, 2017 10:01

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Specialized import-export cargo management in Hai Phong: Many ministries “hold on” one goods item

09:29 | 24/09/2017

VCN – Overlap and entanglement in management and specialized inspection of import-export cargo are the old story but the notable point to discuss is about the movement of related ministries. It seems like the voice of business community and public could not reach to the related ministries or it could be received but there is no specific movement to improve the situation. 

specialized import export cargo management in hai phong many ministries hold on one goods item
Nearly past two years, specialized inspection area in Hai Phong port area is mainly responsible for receiving documents, most of the inspections carried out in Hanoi. Picture: T.Bình

Agriculture does examination, Ministry of Industry and Trade control too

Hai Phong is the largest hub of trade in the North and also a place of receiving all the entanglements and difficulties caused by management activities and specialized inspections.

In the last few years, at each meeting of the Customs sector or the Ministry of Finance, this story is one of the key issues that are recommended by the leaders of Hai Phong Customs Department to competent authorities in order to remove. However, the situation has not changed much. The stories about a commodity are a subject to specialized management by many ministries, sectors, or various forms of management are still commonly happening in the Hai Phong port area.

A typical example for a situation that two ministries together “hold on” one goods item could be referred to as: Yogurt, cheese – not only take quarantine of animals in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development but also complete food safety test in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade; or goods that not only take quality test but also must be granted certificate of conformity such as seedlings, construction products (brick, stone, glass, etc.)…. Even, some goods item is subjected to three types of management /inspection such as fertilizer (automatic import license, quality control, certificate of conformity).

Moreover, this situation also occurred inside one ministry. In particular, in one ministry, there are many forms of management for import-export goods. It may be referred to as the cocoon item. It not only takes animals quarantine but also takes plants quarantine of the same management units under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has issued regulations on granting import licensing and quality control for drugs, raw materials for drug production, medical equipment,...

Seriously, there is even a situation of one goods item has to be subjected to a management/inspection form but it has to be implemented by two or three ministries. Typically, the boiler has to take quality control but it has to be managed and inspected by Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs at the same time,…

Not only complicated in the management, inspection, the documents system by also related to the list of goods subject to specialized inspection of many ministries in the wide range. Some categories are not standardized HS code so it causes many difficulties in implementation of the business community and customs authorities.

Many checking, less discovery

The actual situation in Hai Phong shows that the volume of specialized inspection goods reaches hundreds of thousands of shipments per year, however, the percentage of infringed goods detected by the specialized authority is less than 1%. Remarkably, many violations were discovered mainly related to administrative violations such as late submission, inspection results. The case of goods is detected of violation that related to quality by competent authorities is far less.

In order to solve problems related to the inspection of import-export goods, from the end of 2015, the Customs sector has cooperated with the National Institute for Food Control and the Quality Assurance and Testing Center 1 to deploy the Customs Clearance Area at Hai Phong port area 3 Customs Branch. However, the practical effect is still very low. Many enterprises reflect that the location in Hai Phong is mainly receiving dossiers, the inspection and granting a certificate of results are still carried out at the head office in Hanoi, thus enterprises are not willing to register because of wasting time while doing the procedure in two locations (Hai Phong and Hanoi).

According to the Hai Phong Customs Department, the specialized inspection of the ministries is mainly done by manual methods on each shipment, does not widely apply the mode of risk management, the certification of inspection results of the same goods item, the same manufacturer and importer leads to multiple checks, overlap while the detection rate is very low.

In recent years, some ministries and sectors have stipulated the exemption and reduction of the inspection rate of dossiers, but the conditions for enterprises to be accepted for exemption or reduction is very low, so the majority of goods that are subject to be specialized inspection in Hai Phong still have to wait for inspection result or notification about the result of specialized authorities for clearance.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy