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Difficult to reduce the rate of specialized inspections to 15% without institutional reforms

09:37 | 18/08/2016

VCN- Mr. Ngo Minh Hai, the Deputy Director of Customs Supervision and Management (General Department of Vietnam Customs) said that if ministries did not make institutional changes, it would be difficult to accomplish the goal of reducing the proportion of imported consignments for specialized inspections from 30-35% to 15% by the end of 2016.

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difficult to reduce the rate of specialized inspections to 15 without institutional reforms
Mr. Ngo Minh Hai, the Deputy Director of Customs Supervision and Management (General Department of Vietnam Customs).

This information was mentioned at the press conference about Solutions to effectivelly and efficiently enhance the operation of specialized inspections for exported and imported goods, which was held by the General Department of Vietnam Customs on the afternoon of August 16.

Mainly inspecting before clearance

Regarding the operations of specialized inspections on exports and imports, Mr. Nguyen Quang Son - Head of Division of Department of Customs Supervision and Management said that in recent years, the system of legal documents on specialized inspections was issued with a large number, but many items had no HS codes and no standards or regulations to carry out the inspections, which caused much trouble for both Customs authorities and enterprises in the implementation.

According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, by June 30, 2016, there were 344 legal documents on specialized management and specialized inspections for exports and imports issued by the competent authorities.

Mr. Son said that, many specialized inspection agencies mainly performed procedures of specialized inspections by manual methods, not yet widely applying methods of risk management or accelerating the application of information technology in handling records, data exchange information and the results recognization of specialized inspections.

Through actual surveys of agencies and organizations in the field of specialized inspections, the issuance of licenses or certificates or registration results was mainly implemented mannually. Most of them were filing papers, which were filed directly with the inspection agency and results returned by paper. Many agencies and organizations in the field of specialized inspections have not applied risk management in the analysis and evaluation of information on companies to perform specialized inspections, which has led to duplication with the same commodity; or test results were repeated.

Regarding this matter, Mr. Ngo Minh Hai, the Deputy Director of Customs Supervision and Management Department said that Government Resolution No. 19/2016 / NQ-CP required ministries to review the list of goods for specialized inspections, time of specialized inspections, quality control of goods, energy efficiency, food safety from the period of clearance to the period of post-clearance audit (except for quarantine in the case of imported goods at high risk). However, there are a lot of specified documents requiring inspections before customs clearance.

For example, the Ministry of Science and Technology issued Circular 01/2009/ TT-BKHCN, Circular 27/2012/ TT-BKHCN and Decision 1171/2015/ QD-BKHCN regulating imports subject to quality inspection (group 2) which only pass Customs clearance in case of receiving test results about the quality of imports. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade introduced Circular 48/2011/ TT-BTC and Circular 08/2012/ TT-BCT regulating the products of group 2 which have to be checked when importing and exporting. Also, the exemption and reduction of quality control must be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Besides, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued Circular 34/2014/TT-BNNPTNT specifying that all imported shipments of salt must be tested on quality when imported and Circular 21/2015/ TT-BNNPTNT regulating imported plant protection products to meet quality inspection and Customs authorities only implement Customs clearance only when receiving notices of quality test results, etc.

Difficult to achieve the target without reforms

Regarding the problems in the operations of specialized management for exports and imports, at the press conference, the questions of representatives of press agencies focused on solutions which Customs authorities and ministries would implement in the near future.

In response to this issue, Mr. Ngo Minh Hai said that from the actual operation of specialized inspection for exports and imports, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has been coordinating with ministries in the field of specialized management to review, build and accomplish mechanisms and policies in the management of specialized inspections. After the review, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported to the Office of the Government and proposed ministries about documents related to specialized inspections which need to be amended and supplemented in order to facilitate the export activities.

The operation of 10 stations in 8 Customs areas for specialized inspections of exports and imports initially created favourable conditions for businesses in the implementation of specialized inspections for exported and imported goods; shortened the time of Customs clearance and reduced costs for businesses. However, Mr. Hai also recognized, after a period of pilot operation of 10 stations in the field of specialized inspections, there were problems such as: The size of stations was quite small and lacked machinery equipment and human resources for immediate inspections and some items needed for specialized inspections without owners of these items, etc.

In order to promote the efficiency of specialized inspection stations, the General Department of Vietnam Customs is now coordinating with relevant units to carry out surveys and preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of the operations of Customs specialized inspections stations. In particular, recently, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has actively coordinated with the ministries to build the portal of specialized inspections under the National Single Window portal and established coordination mechanisms among relevant units in the operation of specialized inspections.

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However, to accomplish the goals and requirements of the Government in Resolution 19/2016/ NQ-CP and Decision 2026 / QD-TTg, namely to reduce the rate of imported consignments for specialized inspections from 30-35% to 15% by the end of 2016, these ministries need to have dramatic changes. In particular, specialized ministries should implement comprehensive reforms of policies and testing methods related to operations of specialized inspections for exports and imports. Currently, the rate of goods requiring specialized inspections is remaining at 30-35%, a high level while there is not much time to accomplish the goals.

By Ngoc Linh/ Hoang Anh