May 25, 2018 18:00

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Towards comprehensive reform of specialized inspection

20:12 | 04/05/2018

 VCN- The General Department of Vietnam Customs has provided many solutions to focus on comprehensive reform of specialized inspection, to reduce and simplify 50% of the list of goods, products and procedures subject to specialized inspection under the instruction of the Government in the Resolution 01/NQ-CP dated 1st January 2018 of the Prime Minister.

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towards comprehensive reform of specialized inspection
Currently, almost all international border gates have no representatives of agencies in charge of food safety inspection and quality control. Photo: H.N

Many shortcomings reveal …

Currently, there are many legal normative documents stipulating specialized management and inspection, the scale of inspections is large and many commodities are without HS codes and do not meet standards for inspection, and have overlaps in the management of specialized inspection.

Besides, the specialized inspections are mainly implemented manually and have not been applied with risk management methods, and IT, for receiving and handling dossiers and data information exchanging and approval of specialized inspection results. At the same time, the human resource for the specialized inspection for imported and exported goods at border gates is still weak and lacking.

Meanwhile, almost all of the international border gates have no agency representatives in charge of food safety inspection and quality control. The inspection of imported and exported goods must be sent to inland laboratories, and many cases must be sent to Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh City for inspection, leading to prolonging Customs clearance time.

Mr. Do Van Quang, Director of Customs Department of Goods Verification assessed the specialized inspections for imported and exported goods, that “the specialized inspection agency (excluding Quarantine agency) have no organized human resource and means for inspection at border gates, such that the late inspection results have prolonged Customs clearance time of imported and exported goods. Especially, some import and export enterprises have not determined their responsibility and obligation in implementing provisions on specialized inspection and management for imported and exported goods”.

towards comprehensive reform of specialized inspection
Almost all international border gates have no representatives of agencies in charge of food safety inspection and quality control. Photo: H.N

Mr. Nguyen Anh Quan ,Director of A&Q General Trading Business Co., Ltd., (the company specializes in importing fresh vegetable and fruits at Tan Thanh Border Gate) said that some commodities were subject to specialized inspections by other agencies. It takes a lot of time for movement to complete the procedures, because the company does not have offices at Lang Son province, even taking 3 weeks to receive the specialized inspection results and then submitting to the Customs for goods clearance. This causes difficulties for enterprises, damaged goods, increasing cost and is time consuming.

According to the survey of data in Customs dossiers related to agricultural products and fertilizers cleared in 2017, nearly 100% of agricultural products were not analyzed at the laboratories of specialized inspection agencies and only inspected by normal inspection methods and issued certificates of food safety inspection right on the date of opening the Customs declarations.

Mr. Do Van Quang explained that although Circular 12/2015/TT-BNNPTNN of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development stipulated that the inspection on food safety for imported goods originated from plants would be implemented by the normal inspection method and the sampling rate was 10% under the risk level of goods and 30% for strict inspection method. Of which, if the inspection results of shipment did not meet standards, the specialized inspection agency would handle by the following ways: changing use purpose, destruction, re-export or remedy of labeling errors. However, the taking of samples for testing was not shown in 100% of Customs dossiers of cleared goods subject to specialized inspections in accordance with provisions.

According to provisions in the Government’s Decree 108/2017/ND-CP on the fertilizer management, the fertilizer must be examined for quality before Customs clearance. However, in reality, it took on average 7 working days to issue the quality examination results, and the announcement of inspection result only shows "passed" but does not show the data as well as testing method.

towards comprehensive reform of specialized inspection
Almost all international border gates have no representatives of agencies in charge of food safety inspection and quality control. Photo: H.N

Hence, the question is that whether imported agricultural products and fertilizers are taken for sample analysis and quality verification in laboratories assigned by the competent State agencies under the risk level of goods or not?

The Customs will pilot specialized inspection for some commodities

Although under the current provisions, the Ministry of Finance (The General Department of Vietnam Customs) is not in charge of specialized management for imported and exported goods, it is the first authority that carries out procedures for these goods and in charge of Customs management.

In the world, towards the modern Customs trend such as Japan Customs, South Korea Customs, etc, the Customs is not only in charge of Customs management but also ensures national security and community security by controlling and preventing the imports of goods with low quality and dangerous goods.

In order to bring Vietnam Customs to develop with Customs in advanced countries in the world with the role of national security protection, one of solutions to facilitate import and export activities at border gates towards simple, quick and convenient procedures and reducing cost for enterprises, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has completed the Scheme on pilot specialized inspection for imported and exported goods at the Customs offices.

The Scheme on pilot specialized inspection for imported and exported goods at the Customs offices has provided new reform methods for the specialized inspections and creates a legal framework for the Customs participating in the specialized management.

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Also, Mr. Do Van Quang, in order to improve the method of specialized inspections, the Customs’ pilot inspection of food hygiene and safety for imported agricultural products and quality control for mineral fertilizers will promote the publicity and transparency in the specialized inspection of specialized management ministries, thereby, contributing to accelerating the reform of specialized inspection by specialized management ministries. At the same time, affirming the role of modern customs laboratory.

towards comprehensive reform of specialized inspection
Almost all international border gates have no representatives of agencies in charge of food safety inspection and quality control. Photo: H.N

Particularly, the scheme on pilot specialized inspections for exported and imported goods at the Customs offices has also created the basis towards the plan that Ministry of Finance coordinates with specialized management ministries to apply risk management to specialized inspections for imported and exported goods. Specifically, the Customs will verify the imported and exported goods according to the standards provided by specialized management ministries. The commodities which are verified by the Customs will not be inspected and the results issued by the Customs will be used for Customs clearance. The Customs will develop the mechanism on coordination and information exchange with specialized management agencies for commodities which are verified by the Customs.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Quan, Director of A&Q General Trading Business Co., Ltd., said that if the Customs is the focal point for verification at the border gates, it will greatly support business and enhance the business’s competitiveness in the market. Especially, if the Customs is assigned as the verification agency, it will have competency compared to other verification agencies, thereby, enhancing the efficiency of the goods verification at border gates, saving time and reducing the cost of Customs clearance for enterprises, which is a desire of the business community.

By Dao Le/Ngoc Loan