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Customs Department of Ba Ria - Vung Tau: Strength at age 40

19:53 | 04/12/2019

VCN - After 40 years of construction and development, overcoming many difficulties and challenges, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department has grown strongly and become one of the leading units in the Customs sector in terms of budget revenues, smuggling,  and customs modernisation.

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Leaders of BR-VT Customs Department received the Second-class Labour Medal in 2013.

Great contribution to the budget revenue

On December 4, 1979, the Vung Tau - Con Dao Special Zone Customs Branch (the predecessor of today's Ba Ria - Vung Tau Customs Department) was established, with a force of less than 10 people, whose functions are mainly in service of oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities. During 40 years of construction and development, the Customs Department of Ba Ria - Vung Tau (BR-VT) has grown, with the current organisational structure of 15 affiliated units and 307 officers, civil servants and co-workers. The budget revenue is always in the top of the Customs Departments with large revenues of the whole Customs industry and is a bright spot in the fight against smuggling, administrative reform and customs modernisation.

Looking back on budget revenue results in recent years of the BR-VT Customs Department, the unit's great effort in maintaining the top position in the budget revenue from import and export activities can be seen. If in 2004, the budget revenue of the BR-VT Customs Department was only more than VND 4,000 billion, by 2019, it reached VND 19,950 billion. Especially in the last five years, in the context of revenues from crude oil products - the largest source of revenue of the BR-VT Customs Department - always fluctuated in an unfavourable direction because the world crude oil price always stays low, declining production and partly to supply domestic refineries. If revenue from crude oil in 2014 and earlier always accounted for 60-70 percent of revenue of the BR-VT Customs Department, now it is only 18-20 percent. This is a great challenge of the unit in ensuring tens of thousands of billions for the annual State budget.

However, with a lot of efforts in administrative procedure reform , the application of information technology (IT), creating favourable conditions for businesses, combating smuggling and trade fraud, Customs Department BR-VT has completed the assigned budget collection task with the following year's results always increasing over the previous year. Despite the huge loss of crude oil, the revenue of the Customs Department of BR-VT in recent years has still reached nearly VND 20,000 billion. In particular, in 2017 reached nearly 18,000 billion VND, in 2018 reached nearly 18,600 billion VND, in 2019 it is expected to hit 19,958 billion VND.

A bright spot on customs modernization and anti-smuggling

In recent years, BR-VT Customs has been one of the leading units in implementing important projects of the Customs sector such as: Automated Customs Clearance System (VNACCS / VCIS); National one-stop system for ships on entry and exit (E-manifest); Electronic tax filing and customs clearance system 24/7; Automatic management and monitoring system (VASSCM); Online public service system. Along with the use of application programmes of the industry, the BR-VT Customs Department also built, completed, upgraded and put into use many application software programmes such as: commodity policy programme; programme for monitoring and rotating records; software for evaluating and classifying public officials; Electronic mail programme.

The strong application of IT not only serves the activities of the unit and import-export activities of the business community in the area but is also replicated throughout the industry. In particular, the tool to support risk analysis on e-Manifest - Risk Profiler developed by officials of the IT Department has been implemented in the Risk Management Department of the General Department of Customs, PCU Group of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Hai Phong and in a number of other units in the industry, helping detect and tackle large-scale goods smuggling and trade fraud.

In particular, BR-VT Customs Department has implemented two international cooperation projects assigned by the General Department of Customs, the Radioactive Radiation System (Megaports) and the Container Control Program (CCP). They were highly appreciated by leaders of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs and partners, contributing to improving the effectiveness of the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, drugs, radioactivity, wildlife and plants, infringing intellectual property goods and other crimes related to import and export activities.

Currently, the volume of import and export goods through BR-VT ports in Cai Mep – Thi Vai area is increasing, including many different types such as import, transit, transshipment and transport to the port of destination as indicated on the bill of lading. Most of the cargoes passing Cai Mep – Thi Vai ports will be transshipped and transported independently to ports in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Da Nang, Hai Phong and transiting to Cambodia. The results of the work of grasping the situation of taking advantage of the type of independent transportation and transit to smuggle and illegally transport goods across the border are still very complicated. Besides, the Cai Mep – Thi Vai area ports are also the place to receive export goods from the customs units in the region, especially from Cat Lai port transferred by barges. This is also a route with great risks of drugs and intellectual property infringing goods. In this situation, the Department of Customs of BR-VT regularly direct the units to strictly comply with the provisions of the customs law, collect information, synthesise and update the situation, new methods and tricks on smuggling and fraud trade activities in the management area; closely coordinate with other units inside and outside the industry, ensuring effectiveness of the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

In recent years, anti-smuggling trade fraud of the BR-VT Customs Department has been remarkable with 1,408 arrests and handling of customs laws. In which, there are dozens of big violations in Cai Mep International Port area. Typically in 2017, the Customs Department of BR-VT province detected and arrested 12 smuggling cases, mainly prohibited goods with the violation value of more than VND 10 billion. In 2018, there were six cases discovered and arrested, including illegal transport of 100 kg of cocaine, worth more than VND 800 billion. From the beginning of 2019, the BR-VT Customs Department has also detected more than six violations, including illegal transport of nearly 5.3 tonnes of pangolin scales, worth up to tens of billion VND.

With many proud achievements, the BR-VT Customs Department and the collective and individuals of the unit have been awarded many noble titles and awards, of which the BR-VT Customs Department has maintained the title of Excellent Labour Collective for 2013-2017; awarded the First, Second and Third Class Labour Medals by the President and many certificates of merit, Emulation Flag of the Government, ministries and localities.

At the age of 40, full of vigor and enthusiasm, every minute, every second, officials and employees of the Customs Department of BR-VT province are working on the working positions to devote and contribute to the development of the country. In the development journey of the unit, in association with the task of developing the country, the BR-VT Customs Department has carried out procedures for thousands of vehicles on entry and exit, tens of billions of dollars of import and export goods turnover each year, maintaining economic security in the area, making a significant contribution to the development of BR-VT province and the whole country. With what can be seen today, it is safe to believe that, in the coming years, the BR-VT Customs Department will continue to promote the achieved aspects, build a solidarity unit, increasingly develop and contribute. The same part with the locality promotes investment attraction, socio-economic development of BR-VT province in particular and the whole country in general.

By Nguyen Hue/ HuuTuc