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Assessing the compliance of customs declarants

11:04 | 08/12/2019

VCN- On November 15, the Ministry of Finance issued Circular No. 81/2019/TT-BTC regulating risk management in customs operations, taking effect from January 1, 2020.  The circular has added subjects to assess compliance with laws, as well as assess the level of compliance of customs declarants.  

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assess compliance of customs declarants
Specialised inspection units take sample of import and export goods. Photo: N.L

Supplementing subjects of compliance assessment

Previously, the Ministry of Finance's Decision 464/QD-BTC dated June 29, 2015 regulating risk management in customs operations, the regulated subjects were enterprises engaged in import, export and transit activities.

Currently, to be consistent with the provisions of Article 17 of the Customs Law, Article 13, 14 and 15 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP, Circular 81 supplements the applicable subjects being customs declarants, including four subject groups: enterprises engaged in export, import and transit activities; customs brokers; enterprises providing international postal services, enterprises providing international express services; vehicle owners, persons authorised by exit, entry or transit transport mean owners. At the same time, adding four sets of compliance criteria for these four subjects according to compliance levels.

According to the Acting Director of Customs Risk Management under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the building of criteria and criteria indicators shall ensure the principle of transparency and assessed information must be specific and accuracy. On the other hand, criteria and index criteria are built based on frequency, level and time of violations of customs laws, tax laws and specialised management laws for import and export enterprises; acts of enterprises showing risk signs in import and export; time, frequency of import and export activities of enterprises. In addition, the address of the enterprise's headquarters and cooperation of the enterprise in providing information for compliance assessment is also the basis for building criteria and criteria indicators.

Five levels of compliance assessment for customs declarants

Circular 81 stipulates the Customs authority will assess and classify customs declarants according to five levels of compliance.

Customs declarants complying at level 1 who are authorised economic operators shall comply with the Ministry of Finance’s Circular 72/2015 regulating the application of priority policy in customs procedures, inspection and supervision for imported and exported goods of enterprises, the Ministry of Finance’s Circular 07/2019 amending and supplementing articles in Circular 72.

Customs declarants complying at level 2 who are assessed by the Customs authority with high compliance level (compared to the World Customs Organization’s compliance framework) and comply well with Customs laws and regulations, tax obligations and cooperate well with Customs in inspection, supervision and provide information.

Customs declarants complying at level 3 who are assessed to be at average level of compliance with customs laws (compared with the WCO's compliance framework). These customs declarants relatively well comply with customs laws and regulations, tax obligations and cooperate well with customs authorities. During assessment, these declarants have errors or violations (but not serious) in export, import, transit or do not meet compliance requirements.

Customs declarants complying at level 4 assessed by the customs authority on customs law compliance at low level. These declarants do not voluntarily cooperate with the Customs authority. During assessment, they have many errors and violations (not serious) in import and export activities.

Customs declarants complying at level 5 are assessed by the Customs authority to not comply with customs laws. These declarants do not cooperate with the Customs authority or have violations of laws and Customs regulations and fail to comply with tax obligations and vacate their business addresses under confirmation by authorities.

Also according to Kha, the assessment and classification of customs declarants according to five levels comply with the WCO's recommendations on the classification of compliance in customs management. In addition, the supplementation of two compliance levels in the group of compliant businesses will classify businesses more accurately, establishing a strict and effective management mechanism for the business group. At the same time, it is important to expand policies to facilitate through the support to improve the compliance capacity of businesses and reduce the inspection rate in customs clearance and post-clearance audit. Customs authorities can improve steps in the customs procedures and tax payment procedures to facilitate import and export activities of the business group, as well as encourage and raise compliance awareness of businesses through the application of priority policies for the business group; thereby improving the competitiveness of businesses in import and export activities.

Through preferential policies, it will reduce the intervention of Customs officers and prevent corruption and troubles for enterprises.

By Quang Hung/Ngoc Loan