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General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can: Vietnam Customs continues to innovate and develop

06:55 | 16/02/2018

VCN- In the context of deep international integration, the Customs sector always determines the parallel implementation of two tasks assigned by the Party and the State: To create favorable conditions for trade exchange and ensure the State management of customs. The simultaneous fulfillment of these two tasks is increasingly a big challenge, requiring the customs sector to bring into full play its traditions, innovative thinking and endeavor with many plans and programs for breakthroughs and effective work to contribute to promoting economic development, and social integration process of the country.   

general director of customs nguyen van can vietnam customs continues to innovate and develop
The General Director of the General Department of Customs Nguyen Van Can.

On the new spring of 2018, General Director of Customs, Nguyen Van Can, will spend time to answer the Customs Newspaper questions to share, analyze and evaluate more deeply the results of work and directions in 2017, the key objectives in 2018 with the core content and message: ‘Vietnam Customs facilitates trade exchange and enhances management efficiency’.

In 2017, along with the prosperity of the national economy, the Customs sector has made many achievements in the field of work. In your opinion, what are the most prominent results that have made the deepest impressions last year?

In 2017, under the close guidance of the Government and the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs has focused its resources on drastically implementing solutions to fulfill its assigned tasks.

In particular, the outstanding results can be summarized as such.

Firstly, in order to create favorable conditions for production and business activities of the enterprises, the whole sector continues to focus on reform and modernization. Particularly, the Customs Department has deployed the system of automatic customs management in seaports and airports; Deploying the electronic tax payment scheme through 24/7 collection and clearing banks. Thanks to that, the clearance time is fast with 65% of the Green Flow declaration being cleared in 1 to 3 seconds, as well as improving the State management capacity of the customs.

Secondly, the Customs sector has made great efforts to successfully implement the revenue collection task in the context of facing many difficulties and challenges; Import tariff reduction under commitments of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed by Vietnam. Right from the beginning of 2017, leaders of the General Department of Customs have directed the whole sector to implement synchronously and resolutely a series of solutions to facilitate import-export activities to raise revenue, in association with stepping up the implementation of measures. To pay special attention to the prevention of revenue loss through price, code, tax rate and C/O, attaching to the duty of customs officers and customs offices. Although there are many difficulties and challenges, but by the end of 2017, the whole State sector revenue reached 297.082 billion VND, exceeded the target of 12,082 billion VND (equivalent to 4.24%) and exceeded the target of more than 2,000 billion VND.

The third highlight is the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting. In 2017, this mission has achieved many positive results, in which, apart from the struggle for discovery and arrest, the whole sector continues to focus on speeding up the handling of violating organizations and individuals. In particular, the whole sector increased criminal prosecutions for deterrence. In 2017, the whole sector has prosecuted 51 criminal cases and transferring files to other agencies, 68 cases were prosecuted.

In addition, there are other outstanding results such as Vietnam's import-export turnover of 400 billion USD (2017: 425.12 billion USD for the first time), of which the industry's contribution is significant. Vietnam Customs lead the successful organization of the Customs Subcommittee meeting in the series of activities of the APEC 2017 hosted by Vietnam.

It can be said, in 2017, the Customs has completed all aspects of work, including many tasks that achieved impressive results.

Since taking over the responsibilities of the General Director of Customs, one of your main objectives and tasks is to direct drastically to promote solutions to facilitate trade and investment, associated with a marked improvement in the efficiency of state management of customs. How was the results of this important orientation carried out in the past year?

Towards a modern, effective and efficient customs, the Customs sector will continue to reform and modernize customs in all aspects of business management.

In 2017, the Customs sector has focused on improving quality and effectiveness in both the task of facilitating trade and customs management. The sector focuses on institutional development, reviewing, building legal documents, processes and regulations in the direction of modernization reform, stepping up the application of a number of synchronous technology solutions to facilitate trade and management in all areas.

The sector has focused well on facilitating the export-import community, especially in the customs clearance of goods, and the customs also continues to apply effectively modern customs management methods such as management combined with the increasing use of equipment such as container scanners, online surveillance camera system etc. These works are still being implemented for completion. Improving efficiency further contributes to reducing time for customs clearance and improving the index of cross-border goods transactions.

Especially, in 2017, the Customs sector started the implementation of the automatic customs management system at seaports and airports (officially implemented in the first area of Haiphong port under the name of Management System Customs clearance at the port - VASSCM from 11th December, 2017-reporter). This is the first time we have built a system that meets both objectives to facilitate the import and export activities of enterprises and meet management efficiency. This was a special step forward in the state management of customs. Although initially deployed in the port area of Hai Phong, the initial results proved the effectiveness of the system to bring all three parties together. They are: import-export enterprises; Businesses of ports, warehouses, yards, shipping lines and the Customs office.

In the coming time, when the Customs branch expands the automatic customs management system at seaports and airports in Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Can Tho, management efficiency and service will greatly increase.

In 2017, it continued to recognize the fierce attention of the Government in the direction of reform, simplification of management procedures for specialized export goods. As the standing body of the National Steering Committee for ASEAN Single Window, and National Single Window for trade facilitation, how has the General Department of Customs contributed to the implementation?

The management and inspection are still inadequate. There is a "knot" of resistance in the effort to reduce time clearance customs clearance. Particularly, a number of lists of goods subject to specialized examination of large quantity, wide range, with many items without HS codes or standards. The specialized examination is done mainly by manual method, not strictly applying the nature of the risk management method in the examination.

As the Permanent Agency assigned by the Government, the General Department of Customs has taken the initiative in actively synthesizing, evaluating and analyzing shortcomings and limitations in the specialized inspection work, proposing the Ministry of Finance to report to the Government for its consideration to relevant ministries. In 2017, the working group of the Prime Minister has worked directly with many ministries and branches to grasp the situation of specialized inspection to report to the Government and the Prime Minister for guidance and urging.

In fact, in 2017, the task of specialized inspection has changed markedly. In particular, the customs sector has been and will continue to make the best efforts to contribute together with ministries and sectors to develop breakthrough solutions, radical reform related to the field of management and inspection. It has created favorable conditions for importing and exporting businesses, attracting foreign investment and contributing to improving national competitiveness.

Anti-smuggling, trade frauds and counterfeits are always challenging tasks for regulatory bodies, including customs. How do you assess the performance of this task in 2017, especially the role of the Standing Office of National Steering Committee 389 of the General Department of Customs?

As mentioned above, in addition to facilitating trade, in 2017, the Customs sector will continue to improve its management effectiveness through anti-smuggling, trade frauds and counterfeiting; inspection, testing; risk management; Post-clearance checks. Particularly, to enhance the control and supervision of professional operations through the online command and control system through the information technology system.

At the implementation stage, the units in the whole industry have deployed solutions in a synchronous, flexible and effective manner, so that in 2017, the whole industry has made many achievements in the field of defense, anti-smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting. In particular, the General Department of Customs continues to focus on dealing with lines, groups, serious violations to increase deterrence. In 2017, the whole industry struggled, discovered, arrested and handled 15,184 cases of customs offenses, including some key cases related to the arrest of prohibited goods such as Khat leaves, ivory. The total value of infringing goods is estimated at over 789 billion VND, up 89.58% over the same period of 2016, the amount of state budget revenue is 334.8 billion VND, up 95% over the same period in 2016.

In addition, from the inspection and post-customs clearance inspection, the customs sector also detected and processed thousands of violations, collected arrears, and paid to the state budget trillions of VND.

As the standing body of the National Steering Committee of 389, the General Department of Customs (the Ministry of Finance) is the core force in the prevention and combat of smuggling and at the same time has actively advised the Government and the Head of The National Steering Committee 389 in directing and managing prevention, combating smuggling, trade frauds and counterfeit goods nationwide. This has been more and more in depth and achieved many results.

2017 also noted that the General Department of Customs strictly, publicly and promptly dealt with cases in which public employees are behaving in a manner that is troublesome and harmful. What is the relevance of these efforts in building the "Professional - Transparency - Effectiveness” Customs, sir?

In the process of building and developing, the Customs sector has identified the human and personnel issues as a decisive factor in the implementation of political tasks. In order to strengthen the link between the customs offices at all levels, the General Department of Customs has issued many regulations on inspection, control, supervision by customs to strictly supervise the implementation of units.

In 2017, the Customs sector will continue to implement the Decision 188/QD-TCHQ on the Regulations on the performance of official duties of Vietnam Customs, stipulating the principles, responsibilities, tasks and working relationships, working mode; The regulations on posture, working style of working offices of individuals and units in the organizational system of Vietnam Customs etc. The regulation is considered as a "measure" the most common, uniformity of customs activities in the customs sector. In the professional operation, the customs sector continues to strongly implement the 3-level customs supervision regime, creating a positive change in the implementation of customs management tasks.

In 2017, the Customs sector continues to concentrate on drastically implementing Decision No. 65/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister through the restructuring of the apparatus and cadres in the direction of streamlining and efficiency in accordance with task requirements; To carry out synchronously the work of planning, training, appointment and rotation; To enhance public-duty inspection, ensure discipline and administrative discipline and combat corruption and negative manifestations in the performance of tasks. The leaders of the General Department of Customs have always agreed on the policy and in the past year, directed the deployment of many drastic measures to promptly detect and resolutely handle strictly and openly public servants who commit wrongdoings.

Special consideration shall be given to the joint responsibility of leaders of units directly managing public employees who commit acts of violation.

It can be said that the work of building forces is a regular, continuous task, leaders of the General Department of Customs and units are very interested in leading and directing with dignity and publicly to make it transparent to achieve the objective of building modern, professional, effective and efficient Vietnamese Customs.

In 2018, the volume of work set for the whole industry is very large, especially in the context of our country will continue to cut tariffs in accordance with international trade commitments. Parallel to this, there is a need for strengthening the management role to prevent fraudulent preferential practices from FTAs to evade transnational tax evasion with a high degree of sophistication. To accomplish well the assigned tasks well, what are the main tasks that the whole sector should focus on, Sir?

Promote the results achieved in 2017 and thoroughly grasp the resolution of the Government, the Prime Minister's direction on the implementation of the socio-economic development targets in 2018; Leadership of the Ministry of Finance, in 2018, we will try our best from the first days, the first month of the year to complete the tasks assigned.

Besides, in line with the Government's policy of integrity, creativity and action to serve the people and businesses, and frankly acknowledge the inadequacies, shortcomings and limitations in the field of management, the whole sector will define the guideline of the Customs Department in 2018 as "Ethics - Innovation - Development", focusing on effective implementation of focus groups:

Firstly, to further accelerate the reform and modernization substantially and deeper while improving management efficiency. In 2018, a uniform and integrated customs management system will be developed to integrate all customs areas into the customs service. By mid-2019, the customs sector will have a uniform customs clearance system integrated with the VNACCS/VCIS to enhance the capacity of the Customs and create favorable conditions for enterprises.

Secondly, to well perform the role of the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee for ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and Trade Facilitation to advise the Government on implementing stronger and for more breakthrough solutions.

Third, strengthen management and customs supervision; Post-clearance checks; combating smuggling, trade fraud, improving the effectiveness of risk management etc., and the role of the Standing Office of the 389 National Steering Committee.

Fourthly, the whole sector should continue to pay attention to improving the discipline and labor discipline associated with prevention and fight against corruption; build and defend forces. In particular, a plan will be developed to assess the capacity, skills of customs officers and cadres, in association with training, fostering, planning, appointment and arrangement.

Fifth, implementing comprehensive solutions in inspecting and checking against collection losses and debts, be determined to strive to achieve 293 trillion VND, exceeding 10,000 billion VND compared with the budget revenue target in 2018.

Before the new spring of Spring 2018, what is the your message to officers, employees, and workers throughout the period?

On the occasion of the new spring of 2018, on behalf of the leadership of the General Department of Customs and on behalf of individuals, through the Customs Newspaper, I would like to send my greetings to the generations of officials, employees and workers of Customs all over the country, and convey my blessings for health, happiness and success! We wish all the officers, employees and workers of the Customs Department to strive to achieve the highest results in all aspects of work in 2018!

Thank you, and we wish you, the Director General, as well as your family, a New Year of Good Health and Prosperity!

By Huu Tuc