November 21, 2019 16:08

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Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department accompanies European businesses to implement EVFTA

08:18 | 13/10/2019

VCN- On October 9, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and the European business community held talks to effectively implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).  

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Ho Chi Minh City’s leaders talk with businesses. Photo: TH

Customs always ready to implement the new agreement

According to Mr. Dinh Ngoc Thang, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the business community and Customs authority are reliable partners, accompanying each other for development. Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has regularly held training workshops on origin, goods value and customs broker operation and directly spoke with businesses, thereby supporting them to promptly update new documents and guide businesses to comply with customs laws.

Mr. Nicolas Audier, Chairman of the European Business Association in Vietnam (EuroCham) highly appreciated the support of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department in supporting enterprises in import and export activities and trade facilitation.

"European businesses in Vietnam have always considered Customs as the biggest partner, accompanied us in recent years in discussing and developing trade relations," Mr. Nicolas Audier said.

In the context of trade tensions and the global economy, with many changes in trade and tax policy, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has actively spoken with businesses. It will be a great opportunity for both sides to discuss and propose the best solutions and suggestions to implement new policies, especially the implementation of the EVFTA.

According to the EuroCham leader, with the signing of the EVFTA and Investment Protection Agreement, EuroCham will visit some factories of Vietnamese businesses to better understand the goods production. We will survey some border gates to understand more about this issue to support business implementation.

Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department Nguyen Huu Nghiep said that to prepare for the implementation of the agreement, the Customs sector has adopted modern machinery and equipment, applied modern management and risk management systems to create favorable conditions for import and export goods and effectively combat counterfeit goods and enforce policies.

Actively support businesses

Answering questions of European enterprises on trade facilitation, the leader of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department said that the department not only prepared for the effective implementation of free trade agreements between Vietnam and other countries, it has actively supported businesses in import and export activities.

According to Mr. Dinh Ngoc Thang, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, through dialogue with businesses, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department also identified difficulties in facilitating businesses such as specialised inspections, information technology systems and goods origin to propose solutions for further improvement.

The department has deployed new programs to reform procedures and shorten customs clearance time. Accordingly, the department has implemented one-time ruling, supported businesses to take the initiative in importing goods. Besides, in order to quickly clear import and export goods via Cat Lai port, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has cooperated with Saigon Newport Corporation to implement the scheme for quick clearance of goods.

Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has actively applied 4.0 technologies in operations and management activities. Currently, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has built and applied an internal management system which will support the reception and exchange of information with businesses via e-applications, creating transparency and quick processing and maximum favorable conditions for businesses in import and export activities.

At the conference, the Eurocham leader discussed many issues that businesses should note when implementing the EVFTA.

Talking about the projects that EuroCham is implementing to promote the implementation of EVFTA, the representative of the association said that Ho Chi Minh City is a major economic center of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department manages a huge volume of import and export goods. EuroCham has held meetings with the Customs authority and other sectors to talk about benefits of this agreement.

Mr. Jean Jacques Bouflet, Vice Chairman at EuroCham noted Vietnamese enterprises should pay attention to quality in implementing the EVFTA. In particular, hygiene and safety of plants and animals is an important issue. For example, Vietnam’s yellow card for fishery products is one problem. Wooden products must also ensure safe raw materials and be strictly controlled.

Vietnamese laws strictly regulate goods’ quality; however, when implementing the EVFTA, it is necessary to make further improvements. In addition to regulations on goods quality, it is necessary to pay attention to intellectual property rights, because if not well implemented, it will not only affect the businesses but the reputation of the whole country. The main responsibility still belongs to business, but with the strict control of the border gate Customs authority, this issue will be effectively implemented.

At the dialogue, leaders of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and relevant divisions of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department answered many questions related to tax policies and customs procedures, such as: taxable value, C/O incentives and HS codes.

By Le Thu/ Ngoc Loan