VCN - Determining the removal of difficulties for import and export activities as a key task during the Covid-19 outbreak, Lang Son Customs has actively worked with the competent authorities in the province to find solutions and remove difficulties for businesses and goods owners involved in exporting agricultural products through border gates in the province.
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According to statistics from the Lang Son Customs Department, due to the long-lasting impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, after the Lunar New Year, although some border gates in the area have been re-opened for customs clearance, by this time, the volume of goods carrying out customs clearance has remained very small, such as at Huu Nghi border gate. Although it was reopened at the earliest date, so far, only about 600 vehicles are cleared for export on average (the number of vehicles decreased by over 50% over the same period last year). Previously, in the early days of February 2020, this figure was only about 30-60 vehicles per day. At Tan Thanh border gate, since it was re-opened on February 20, the number of vehicles transporting goods through the borderhas been from 150-200 on average (before the Lunar New Year, this figure was about 400-500 vehicles per day). At Chi Ma border gate, about 20-25 vehicles are cleared per day.
In the face of that situation, under the direction of the Government and the Ministry of Finance, Lang Son Province and the General Department of Customs, Lang Son Customs has been drastically implementing measures to strengthen control of import and export activities and entry and exit activities to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic, and also creating favorable conditions to support businesses to clear goods, especially agricultural products, not to interrupt import and export activities.
One of the urgent solutions that Lang Son Customs has been carrying out effectively is that, right from the beginning of February, the unit has set up a working group to support import and export activities and prevent the Covid-19 epidemic. Accordingly, the border-gate customs branches report daily on import and export data and arising problems, guide businesses and inform them of the situation of import and export activities at the border gate for businesses to know and actively take goods to the border gates.
|Lang Son Customs arranged officers to support fast clearance of goods for businesses. Photo: H. Nu|
Talking to a Customs Newspaper reporter, Mr. Vy Cong Tuong, Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department, said that this situation was partly due to the slow clearance capacity at China's border gates. So, late in the afternoon on March 24, there were 1,407 vehicles stuck at border gates. To create favorable conditions for vehicles to be cleared and avoid congestion at the border gates, in recent days, the customs branches at the border gates has regularly worked with the Chinese customs agency to clear goods for businesses as quickly as possible. For businesses that do not have a commercial contract, customs branches together with Chinese authorities to support them to contactcustomers with the goal of minimizing the need for businesses to bring goods back.
According to Mr.Tuong, Lang Son Customs has been working with provincial agencies to organize dialogues with Chinese agencies to find solutions to improve customs clearance capacity with the goal of accelerating import and export activities. Along with that, the unit has worked with the Department of Industry and Trade to list a number of goods, focusing on fresh fruit, to inform the Guangxi Department of Commerce in China to contactChinese businesses and create favorable conditions for signing import and export contracts on fruit products.
In particular, to provide maximum support for import and export goods, Lang Son Customs has directed the border gate customs units to strictly comply with the motto: "Accompanying businesses to surmount difficulties."
Accordingly, customs officers guide businesses with customs declaration and quickly handle problems and not let businesses pay any additional costs incurred during the customs process.
Efforts to support businesses in clearance of goods
Ms. Kim Oanh, a representative of a company specializing in importing and exporting goods at Huu Nghi border gate, said that when China announced the suspension of customs clearance at border gates to avoid the spread of Covid-19, Lang Son Customs notified this and guidedbusinessesnot to take goods to border gates to avoid economic losses. And when China agreed to reopen Huu Nghi border gate, the Customs agency also actively instructed and exchanged information for businesses to capture and implement import and export processes as well as regulations on prevention of the epidemicduring customs clearance at border gates.
Motivated by the accompanying of Lang Son Customs, despite many difficulties in import and export of goods with China, thanks to the timely exchange of information, businessespromptly capture policies and regulations to take the initiative in bringing goods to the border gates, said Ms. Kim Oanh.
Regardingbudget collection, Mr. Vy Cong Tuong said, due to the impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic, from the beginning of the year until now, the unit has processed 9,743 sets of declarations and collected US$303.6 million, down 52.4% compared to the same period in 2019. Budget revenue as of March 24, only reached VND498.1 billion, equaling 14.65% of the assigned estimate (VND3,400 billion), down as much as 22.27% compared to the same period in 2019. However, the unit will continue to work with the local authorities to find solutions to support import and export activities, thereby raising the budget revenue.
However, according to the Lang Son Customs Department, in fact some border gates have been put into operation stably, but due to the large volume of goods gathered at the border gate, while the clearance capacity at the border gates is very slow because the loading capacity of the Chinese side is still very limited due to the strict implementation of measures to prevent and combat the Covid-19 epidemic, recently, agricultural congestion appeared at some border gates.
Facing this situation, Lang Son Customs together with the provincial authorities have notified businesses on actively regulating volume of goods to the border gates, avoiding congestion and minimizing undue damage.
In the near future, Lang Son Customs will continue to coordinate with the Chinese authorities to discuss solutions to create favorable conditions for import and export goods, especially exported agricultural products.
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"Lang Son Customs is taking all measures to reduce the pressure of backlog of import and export goods at the border gates, and at the same time continue the solutions to attract more businesses to carry out import and export activities through the border gates of Lang Son, thereby striving to achieve and exceed the targets set out from the beginning of 2020,” said Mr. Tuong.
By Dao Le/ Huyen Trang