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Enterprises put their trust in Customs reform and modernization

15:48 | 12/12/2017

VCN- Regarding the implementation of the Vietnam automated seaports system by customs management (VASSCM).  Despite the recent developments, opinions collected by the Customs Newspaper’s reporters shows the beliefs and expectations of the business community in this new direction.

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Imported goods at Tan Vu port, Hai Phong - the first area to implement the system. Photo provided by Port of Hai Phong JSC.

Join with enterprises to reform

Although it is the most important seaport in the North with a rapid increase in freight traffic over the years, it is important to recognize that port infrastructure, including IT infrastructure, serves the management of many enterprises operating in the port, such as warehouses and yards businesses in Hai Phong, have not developed adequately.

With a port system of 30 km in length, they contain 67 operating enterprises, of which 50 enterprises have regular operations, but most of the port areas are fragmented. Each port has different facilities, infrastructure, technology, and process management...

Notably, the IT application infrastructure at the ports have warehouses that do not meet the requirements of commodity management under the supervision of the Customs. Up to 43/50 enterprises do not have a data exchange system for management with Customs, leading to the import and export enterprises having to travel many times between Customs, port, warehouse and yard enterprises to carry out procedures. Customs officers must compare the goods monitoring and management books of port, warehouse and yard enterprises to determine the goods storage places, causing difficulties for the monitoring and supervision of cargoes in port areas...

The implementation of the system with the customs office has helped enterprises step by step to overcome the limitations and weaknesses mentioned above. Initially it created changes in the management process of port, warehouse and yard enterprises.

A representative of Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company, the largest port operator in the province and also the first company for the pilot implementation of the system (from August 15, 2017) said that, after only 4 months, the exchange of data on the software system between the customs office and the company has basically met most of the operations in reality in the port area. Thanks to that, enterprises can clearly see the benefits and efficiency of the system.

The benefits have clearly defined the responsibilities of port enterprises in implementing the provisions of the Customs Law; created an active advantage for the Company to have full information on customs clearance status of the customs office, and the procedure for handling the import/ export goods is faster than before. In particular, enterprises take the initiative in controlling the export goods and improve their management efficiency by increasing the automation of the System.

It can be said that Hai Phong Customs has completed the connection with all port, warehouse and yard enterprises in the area of import-export activities. The system has contributed to creating a clear transformation of the IT infrastructure for the business community, meeting management demands and requirements for the most important international ports in the North with an import and export volume of about 100 million tons per year.

Efficiency from transparency and fair competition environment

In addition to affirm the clear effect in reducing the time and cost, enterprises also highly appreciate the transparency in management and handling of import-export procedures by implementing the system.

Mr. Cap Trong Cuong, Director of VIP GREEN Port Joint Stock Company, said that the implementation of the system has brought about a comprehensive reform of administrative procedures. The shift from paper to electronic management shows a very modern mindset and the thinking that keeps pace with advanced countries. Remarkably, according to leaders of VIP GREEN Port Joint Stock Company, electronicization helps to create transparency and a fair environment for competition between port companies, for because the port’s entry and exit is clearly shown on the system.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cao Hong Phong, Deputy General Director of Nam Hai Dinh Vu Port Joint Stock Company, took a specific example related to the process of imported goods to prove the transparency made through the system. “Previously, when taking a lot of imported goods, the import/export enterprises must go to the customs department of the border gate to open the declaration. Then bring the declaration to the port to meet the Customs supervising agencies of the warehouse for signing. Then move to the trading section at the port for changing order and then taking goods at the port, but they must print the delivery bill at the port gate and bring it to the customs monitor unit for signing to ensure that goods are qualified to get out of the monitor area. Such processes take a lot of time, effort, and paperwork. Now the system has basically changed the method of implementation because the steps in this process have been automated and that should help simplify the procedures for customers”- Mr. Cao Hong Phong emphasized.

In addition, a common point that we noted in the port enterprises is that the system contributes significantly to increase the amount of export goods through each port. As at VIP GREEN port, the volume of cargo increased from 30% to 40% compared to the same period of 2016, while the port of Nam Hai Dinh Vu JSC increased from 15% to 18%...

Mr. Au Anh Tuan - Acting Director General of Customs Supervision and Management Department (General Department of Customs): Contributing to electronicize all customs procedures.

Recently, the customs sector has pushed up the application of modern IT systems in professional operations. However, there are still a handful of manual steps, including customs monitoring at seaports. Along with systems in Hai Phong Customs Department, other seaports are still monitoring manually. In addition to promoting the application of professional IT systems such as electronic tax payment, electronic clearances, online public services, etc., the implementation of the electronic monitor system at the seaport helps the customs office to perfect the automated management system (that is the electronization of all customs procedures).

The General Department of Customs has planned to continue the expansion of remaining seaports in the country, especially in the southern port areas such as Cai Mep - Thi Vai (Ba Ria - Vung Tau), and port areas in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a geographical area accounting for 60% of the import and export goods through Vietnam's seaports. The Customs Department strives to complete the implementation of the monitoring system in all important seaports of the country in the second quarter of 2018.

Mr. Karan Khanna - Northern Branch Manager, MSC Vietnam: Helping to improve Vietnam's Competitiveness

From the pilot implementation of the system, I realize that the implementation of the new management model of Vietnam’s Customs agency will bring many benefits.

Firstly, the new model will save time, which will save money. Currently our customs clearance time usually takes 2 to 3 hours. If this process is shortened to a few minutes, it will be very useful for the company and our customers. For Further, I think these improvements will help Vietnam to improve its productivity, and competitiveness compared to other countries in the region.

Secondly, I hope the new model will simplify and synchronize regulations on customs procedures, facilitating foreign investors and traders operating in Vietnam. I hope that in the future, the new management model will be expanded to the customs clearance sites in the border gates such as ICDs, creating a unified management model in the whole country.

By N. Quốc

By Nguyễn Quốc/Kiều Oanh.