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Improving the rank of cross-border trade transactions index: Needs synchronization

14:29 | 27/03/2019

VCN- Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Hoang Viet Cuong said that the General Department has studied, analyzed results of Vietnam’s cross-border trade transactions index and developed solutions to perform the goal of improving the rank.

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Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong addressed at a working session with agencies at Hai Phong City. Photo: N.L

Seeking solutions to enhance the index rank

On March 22, 2019 in Hai Phong, the working team of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, chaired by Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong, had a working session with competent agencies in Hai Phong to discuss solutions to improve the rank of cross-border trade transactions index.

At the working session, Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong conveyed the Government’s direction and orientation on improving the cross-border trade transactions index which is the indicator in the Doing Business report annually evaluated by the World Bank (WB) in 190 countries.

According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2018, the cross-border trade transactions index decreased by 6 places (from rank 94th to 100th/190 countries) although the indicators on the time and cost have not been changed compared to the previous years (the time for cross-border trade transactions for imported goods is 132 hours, for exported goods is 105 hours; the cost for cross-border trade transactions for imported goods is US$ 556/ shipment and exported goods is US$ 429/ shipment).

According to the World bank’s analysis, the time under the responsibility of the Customs authority only accounts for 11% for imported goods, 4% for exported goods in the total time of imports and exports across border gate; the time under the responsibility of the Load, Unload and Storage units at the ports and logistic units accounts for 28% for imported goods and 50% for exported goods; the time under the responsibility of the specialized inspection agency is 61% for imported goods and 46% for exported goods.

Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong said that the figure has shown that the time for the Customs authority is the lowest; the time for loading and unloading is relatively high, especially the time for specialized inspection is the highest.

Therefore, at the beginning of 2019, the Government issued Resolution 02, which defines specific targets on the cross-border trade transactions index. Determines goals for 3 years (from 2019-2021) that it must reduce 10-15 places. In the short term, it must reduce 3-5 places in 2019, striving to rank 85th of 190 countries on the cross-border trade transactions index by 2021.

In resolution 02/2019/ND-CP, the Government assigns Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Vietnam Customs) to lead and coordinate with ministries and sectors for the implementation. For this request, Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong said that the General Department studied, analyzed results of Vietnam’s cross-border trade transactions index, and developed solutions to perform the goal of improving the rank.

“Over the past time, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has been assigned by the Ministry of Finance to draft a roadmap and an action plan on this issue. In order to effectively implement, ministries and sectors need to coordinate with the Customs authorities to provide the best solutions to implement in the next 3 year to achieve the goal assigned by the Government. If there are goods solutions and interdisciplinary coordination, it is not too difficult to achieve the goal of ranking 85th’’ Mr.Cuong said.

Need to have synchronization

As the role of performing unit, over the past time, the Customs sector has implemented many solutions on Customs reform and modernization to reduce Customs clearance time for imports and exports such as: Deploying the automated system for Customs clearance VNACCS/VCIS, the automated system for Customs management at seaports and airports, and leading the implementation of National Single Window, ASEAN Single Window… However, the Deputy Director General said that with the request set out, the Customs sector needs to further reform.

Units conducting transporting, unloading, loading, logistic and port operators, need to review procedures and processes for shortening clearance time and costs to enterprises.

Especially, the specialized inspection is a major concern. Resolution No. 02/2019/NQ-CP specifies the reduction of 50% of the list of goods subject to specialized inspection. However, the key issue is to seek a solution for reduction.

Speaking at the working session, Deputy Director of Hai Phong Customs Department Nguyen Duy Ngoc proposed solutions to reduce the clearance time. Specifically, for the specialized inspection, it is necessary to conduct thorough assessments and comprehensive reviews related to each ministry and sector, and commodity. The General Department of Vietnam Customs regularly reviews the rate of channel classification and targets of reducing the rate of Red Channel, and increasing the throughput for the Green Channel. In addition, creating a high synchronization and automation in the implementation of the National Single Window.

Representatives of a number of specialized management agencies, business associations, warehouse, yard and port operators, importers and exporters attending the working session agreed and highly appreciated the coordination in trade facilitation for imports and exports, and the improvement of the ranking of cross-border transactions index. Enterprises said that if only the step in the Customs clearance is reduced and simplified, it will greatly facilitate enterprises in their production and business.

Representative of Tuan Trinh Transport Co., Ltd., said that the reform solutions of state management agencies must be synchronous. The Customs authority has provided many reform solutions. However, the Customs clearance is not only related to the Customs authority but it is also related to many other ministries and sectors.

Responding to the comments, the Deputy Director General stated that the concerned units agreed to implement the Party's and State's major policies specified in Resolution No.02/2019/NQ-CP relating to cross border gate transactions index. This is important for national prestige and also the prestige of each sector in the reform to facilitate enterprises and enhance the national competitiveness. The Ministry of Finance (General Department of Vietnam Customs) has immediately implemented the action plans to report to the Prime Minister.

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In the short term, Ha Phong Customs Department needs to review operational processes to promptly perform, and optimize processes and procedures. Promptly handling arising problems of automated management system, focusing on reviewing goods subject to specialized inspection, including focusing on the 2 commodity groups that the World Bank is assessing (HS code 8708 and HS code 85).

Regarding specialized inspection, the General Department of Vietnam Customs will continue to work with ministries to clarify 3 categories: The list of commodities that will be cut in 2019 and following years; the list of overlapped commodities in the same ministries; the list of commodities overlapped between ministries and sectors to simplify procedures and documents and quick inspections.

The Deputy Director General also suggested that importers and exporters should accompany with state management agencies and relevant agencies in reform, modernization and improving the cross-border trade transactions index. "If enterprises are not sufficiently aware and do not coordinate with competent authorities in implementing solutions, it is very difficult to achieve the goal" - Deputy Director General Hoang Viet Cuong emphasized.

By Ngoc Linh/ Ngoc Loan