August 12, 2020 18:53

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Developing management policy on promoting development of cross border e-commerce

20:17 | 10/01/2020

VCN - On January 8, in Hanoi, the General Department of Vietnam Customs worked with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) in Vietnam to hold a consultation seminar on the draft decree on management of cross border e-commerce activities in customs operation. The seminar was attended by representatives of a number of ministries, sectors and businesses operating in the field.

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Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh made a speech at the seminar

At the seminar, two main issues were discussed with businesses and experts around the content of the project on management of e-commerce activities for export and import goods and a draft decree on management of cross border e-commerce activities in customs operation.

Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh said the development of policies related to cross-border e-commerce activities in the customs field is based on trade facilitation. When enterprises declare sufficient and timely information, customs authorities have a mechanism to facilitate and clear goods quickly.

Therefore, the Deputy Director General asked participants attending the workshop to contribute ideas so that the drafting board would continue receiving ideas and finalise the draft before submitting it to all levels.

According to the drafting board, it is necessary to formulate a policy mechanism for cross-border e-commerce activities in customs that starts from a practical context.

According to statistics released by Statista (a German market research firm), in 2018, Vietnam's e-commerce revenue reached $2,269 billion and ranked in the top six of e-commerce platforms having highest development rate in 2018. According to the Vietnam E-commerce Association at the Vietnam E-Commerce Index (EBI) report of 2018, Vietnam's average annual growth rate was from 25 percent to 30 percent. If Vietnam maintained this growth rate, the e-commerce market size by 2025 would rank third in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Thailand.

Along with that, a White Paper on e-commerce published by the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed up to 92 percent of people used mobile phones to access the internet, up 3 percent compared to 2017, while only 75 percent of people used computers to access the internet. Average daily time spent online was 3-5 hours/day with the rate of 30 percent. Notably, the rate of more than 9 hours was skyrocketed to 24 percent compared to 15 percent in 2017.

In fact, mobile phones are the most popular tool for online shopping with 81 percent. Furthermore,74 percent of people use e-commerce websites to shop, followed by social networks with 36 percent which was a decrease compared to 51 percent in 2017, especially signals from mobile devices increased by more than 10 percent to 52 percent compared to 2017.

The development of e-commerce on mobile platforms is considered as "fertile" land, full of potential. According to the report "Internet Economy of Southeast Asia 2018" published by Google - Temasek, the e-commerce growth of Vietnam in 2015 - 2025 was forecasted at 43 percent, bringing Vietnam back to become the country with the fastest growing e-commerce in the region. E-commerce has an increasingly important role in creating new production and consumption values, is a driving force for development and a pioneer field of the digital economy.

From that fact, e-commerce development is indispensable, so State management agencies need specific regulations to create a legal framework for parties involved in e-commerce transactions to comply with regulations, quickly and smoothly.

The management policy of e-commerce transactions has been developed, however, regulations are still incomplete, and do not meet the strong development needs of e-commerce activities in the era of 4.0.

According to the drafting board, through research on the situation of the management of e-commerce activities for export and import goods in Vietnam, there is no legal system applied for export and import goods through e-commerce. Therefore, this activity still faces many difficulties for parties involved in e-commerce activities as well as for State management agencies. Therefore, researching and proposing management solutions and building a legal framework for e-commerce activities are necessary and urgent.

On a practical basis, in the draft scheme as well as the decree, the drafting broad has made provisions related to the subject of adjustment; model, management mode; solutions of managing e-commerce activities for exported and imported goods and implementation.

At the seminar, participants contributed their opinions focusing on the draft decree on the management of cross border e-commerce activities in customs operation on the following issues: System for exported and imported goods trading through e-commerce; providing information on imported and exported goods; tax exemption, reduction, reimbursement, exempt from tax collection, handling of overpaid amounts, tax assessment, and deadline for tax payment of exported and imported goods trading via e-commerce; specialised inspection of export and import goods.

The comments have been recorded by the drafting board to continue improving the draft, ensuring suitability, promoting the development of e-commerce activities for export and import goods, and also ensuring State management on customs.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy