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Aggressively deploying the customs management system

10:57 | 06/01/2019

VCN – Being a large information technology (IT) system, having an impact not only within the Customs industry but also being connected with many types of enterprises, in 2018, the Customs sector has made great efforts to implement the Customs Management System (VASSCM) to the most important import and export areas in the country under the set objectives.

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Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can chaired the Conference on promoting the implementation of customs management system nationwide (on 9/8/2018). Photo: T.Bình

Modern customs management

Implementing VASSCM not only concretizes the provisions of the Customs Law, but is also an important step in approaching modern customs management and a solution to facilitate commercial activities. Determining that importance, in 2018, one of the key tasks that the General Department of Vietnam Customs has strongly directed is expanding the implementation of the system nationwide.

Deputy Director of Customs IT and Statistics Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) Le Duc Thanh said that: VASSCM is the largest IT application program in the sector in recent years since the completion of VNACCS/VCIS System ( quarter II/2014). VASSCM fundamentally changes the method of customs management and supervision.

VNACCS/VCIS helps automate the declaration and clearance of goods, while VASSCM helps to monitor and manage import and export shipments quickly, conveniently and follows the shipment history in the process of supporting Customs supervision via electronic method instead of the manual way of customs officials as before.

Although having lots of experience and capabilities, with the process of implementing the system the IT forces have faced many difficulties and obstacles. Because, for VNACCS / VCIS, the development of the system only focuses on the Customs authorities, so the import-export enterprises had no need for upgrading and changing their system. With the VASSCM, this is the first time that the Customs sector had to build a system connecting with many different businesses such as: trading in warehouses, yard and ports in the seaports; air warehouse; shipping lines, airlines; import-export enterprises ... Meanwhile, the IT system in many enterprises is very limited, the construction and upgrading to meet the standards for connecting with the Customs authorities system takes a lot of time. Some enterprises have good IT systems but they do not meet the standards of connection with customs authorities ... It could be said that this is the biggest and heaviest part.

“As in the case of a large port enterprise in Hai Phong opening the connection, the Customs authorities must support the redesign of both business processes as well as IT system construction. While with the largest port business in the area of Ho Chi Minh City and the whole country, which is Saigon New Port Corporation - Cat Lai port management and trading unit, despite having developed the IT system, Cat Lai area has large volumes of cargo traffic and numbers of import-export enterprises, so the implementation also faced many difficulties,”- Deputy Director Le Duc Thanh said.

With a large number of large enterprises operating warehouses, yards and ports concentrated in many areas nationwide, so the Customs sector has prioritized the implementation of VASSCM: firstly for enterprises which have large transaction frequency and large volumes of import and export goods working with Customs authorities; high availability of IT systems; synchronously deploying from ports to warehouses and yards in order to ensure the linkage between the operational stages in the supervision of goods transportation.

In order to meet the deployment requirements to expand nationwide, the General Department of Vietnam Customs will urgently complete the functions on the system in line with the schedule and plan. At the same time, it will promptly support and handle problems and difficulties of the units during the implementation process for ensuring the system operates smoothly, securely and safely.

On the other hand, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has organized many training courses on the implementation of the system for about 400 customs officials of 35 local customs departments and about 300 enterprises operating warehouses, yards, seaports and airports and locations subject to Customs supervision.

According to the Customs IT and Statistics Department, by early December, the country had 25/35 local customs departments deploying the system with 65 customs branches with 276 businesses operating warehouses, yards and ports.

Although it has not covered all the country, with the results in 2018, it can be seen that VASSCM has basically been successfully implemented in the most important import and export areas in the country, such as Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Da Nang...

Create synchronization in management

Summarizing on the successful lesson in the implementation process recently, Mr. Le Duc Thanh said, the most important factor is preparation. With the Customs authority it is the preparation of IT (hardware, software), the second content is the construction of professional processes, making documents, training ... Besides that, the provincial Customs Department must select customs officials who have experience on operating in the supervision division at warehouse, yard and port to be trained on business processes, IT systems. Especially, they must be trained both in the management process of business operating warehouses, yards and ports in the management area - this is a new point compared to the implementation of previous IT systems (only grasping the process of Customs authorities).

On the partner side of the Customs authorities, each type of enterprise also has its own lessons. For enterprises operating warehouse, yard and port business enterprises, it is necessary to study the process of the Customs authorities to modify the management process (of the enterprise), if necessary, in order to be consistent with the management requirements of Customs authorities. After having a standard process, businesses will build an appropriate IT system. On the other hand, enterprises operating warehouse, yard and port must create services to provide information on the status of consignments for import-export enterprises, help (import-export businesses) to be proactive about the appropriate time of delivery/receipt of goods.

For import-export enterprises, in order to participate effectively, when carrying out customs procedures, they must declare accurately under the guidance of the customs authorities. For example, the exact number of bills of lading, and date of the ship's arrival (the date of arrival at the port of vehicles)... thus the implementation of customs procedures and cargo clearance can take place quickly.

For the freight forwarder, they must provide to the Customs authorities information about the Manifest (cargo manifest) accurately and promptly...

Besides the factors as mentioned above, promoting the successful implementation of the system is the close concern and direction of the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs. In 2018, the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs took the lead in many working sessions to urge the implementation of VASSCM. Typically, Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can presided over the Conference on promoting the implementation of customs management system nationwide (on 9/8/2018) and many direct working sessions in Ho Chi Minh City for directing the system deployment at Cat Lai port, Tan Son Nhat airport...

The expansion of VASSCM deployment is not only a prominent event of the Customs sector in 2018, but also a big step in IT application in the process of customs reform and modernization, contributing significantly to reducing cargo clearance time, improving state management efficiency and realizing the policy of implementing e-Government in the customs field.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy