VCN - According to the Ministry of Finance, post-clearance audit, risk management; application of international practices and socialization of specialized inspection for import and export goods are the reform measures that need to be specified in revised laws such as the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations and Law on Product and Goods Quality.
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Ministry of Finance mentioned many problems in the management of import and export goods. For example, the promulgation of standards and technical regulations, as provided for in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations, ministries and ministerial level agencies, within the scope of their respective duties and powers, have the responsibility to elaborate, promulgate or submit to state competent agencies and competent persons to promulgate relevant legal documents on standards and technical regulations.
However, ministries and ministerial-level agencies have not elaborated, promulgated or submitted to competent authorities to promulgate sufficient legal documents guiding relevant standards to ensure the implementation thereof. Specifically, the technical standards for items in the potentially unsafe groups have not been promulgated or have not been fully promulgated, and the principles of product and goods management according to standards and technical regulations have not been unified.
Regarding the management of the list of goods subject to specialized inspection, according to the provisions of Article 70 of the Law on Product and Goods Quality, the management ministry shall be responsible for state management of product and goods quality according to their assigned fields, accordingly, ministries shall promulgate lists of goods and products. However, many items in the list are issued without HS codes, leading to difficulties to determine goods accurately and names of different lists such as: List of goods subject to specialized inspection, list of import and export goods under the license and subject to specialized management, list of goods with unsafety potential. Therefore, a product can be under many different lists and subject to many management methods by many agencies and organizations, which leads to overlapping management.
Regarding the specialized inspection method, the Ministry of Finance said that the exemption from inspection, according to the provisions in Clause 4, Article 27 of the Law on Product and Goods Quality, management ministries shall have to specify the exemption and reduction of quality inspection for products and goods which have been granted certificate of conformity, conformity announcement or certificate of application of advanced management systems according to regional and international standards. However, many ministries have not specified the exemption from inspection for these items, only stipulated the reduced inspection method, so the scope of specialized inspection before Customs clearance is still wide.
There is still a problem related to the agency in charge of specialized inspection. According to a provision in Clause 16, Article 3 of the Law on Product and Goods Quality, the agency in charge of specialized inspection is state agency. However, the State agency now authorizes a conformity assessment organization to carry out the inspection and notify the results to importers. Accordingly, the authorization will raise a number of inadequacies such as there is no legal basis for the authorization; there are no clear mechanisms for settlement in case that importers do not accept the assessment results by the organization authorized by the Ministries.
Therefore, the Ministry of Finance proposed amendments and supplements to the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations and the Law on Quality Products and goods in the following principles:
Only implementing pre-customs clearance audit for goods with highly unsafe potential and risk of spreading epidemics, endangering human health and life, polluting the environment, affecting social morality, customs and habits, and adversely affecting the national economy and security.
At the same time, implementing principles of risk management and classification of enterprises based on their legal compliance, classification of commodity groups with low/high risk to apply appropriate inspection method.
Legal documents should clearly stipulate the application of international practices in the specialized inspection for the following contents: mutual recognition; active acknowledge of foreign quality certificates for imported goods from developed countries and well-known brands.
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Particularly, the solution for socialization of specialized inspection should be strongly applied in the following direction: State agencies shall only be responsible for management, inspection, supervision, the inspection, assessment and verification shall be assigned to the conformity assessment organizations which are eligible for operation according to laws; the inspection results by the conformity assessment organizations shall be used for Customs clearance.
At Decision No. 1254 / QD-TTg approving the Action Plan to promote the National Single Window, ASEAN Single Window, the reform of specialized inspection for import and export goods trade facilitation for the period 2018 - 2020 recently promulgated by the Prime Minister, many documents on specialized management and inspection should be amended and supplemented. For example, obstacles and inadequacies in the field of fertilizer management according to Decree No. 108/2017 / ND-CP dated September 20th, 2017 of the Government:
Article 30 of Decree 108/2017 / ND-CP stipulates that the State agency in charge of quality inspection for import fertilizers is the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. However, in fact, the Plant Protection Department authorizes conformity assessment organizations to conduct the inspection and release the notification of inspection results. This creates favorable conditions for enterprises but is not in line with the provisions of the Decree.
Clauses 6 and 7 of Article 3 of Decree No. 108/2017 / ND-CP stipulate that if enterprises import fertilizers in the form of bulk cargo and then pack them in containers at the port after unloading the goods from means of transportation to transport to the enterprises' warehouses, this act is considered as fertilizer production activity, those enterprises must have certificates of eligibility for fertilizer production.
However, because the conditions of warehouses and yards at the ports can not meet the conditions stipulated in Clause 1, Article 18 of this Decree, enterprises who carrying out the fertilizer packaging at the ports shall not be granted certificates of eligibility for fertilizer production. To facilitate enterprises, the Plant Protection Department has issued Official Letter No. 2721 / BVTV-QLPB dated November 15th, 2017 to proposed the General Department of Customs to allow these enterprises to pack fertilizers at warehouse and yards at ports without applying for certificate of eligibility for fertilizer production.
According to Article 30 of Decree No. 108/2017 / ND-CP, the State inspection on quality shall apply to each imported fertilizer shipment. Accordingly, imported fertilizer shipments must be inspected.
Hence, Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1254 / QD-TTg assigns the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to study amendments and supplementation to Decree No. 108/2017 / ND-CP in the following directions:
The State agencies in charge of quality inspection for imported fertilizers are the organizations authorized or designated by the Plant Protection Department.
Enterprises are allowed to pack fertilizers at the ports without a certificate of eligibility for fertilizer production.
Applying principle of risk management in the State inspection of imported fertilizer quality and exempting from inspection for each imported fertilizer shipment
By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang