January 24, 2020 04:16

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Lao Cai international railway Customs: year of passing through difficulties

21:16 | 09/01/2020

VCN – Railway infrastructure did not compete with the highway system and many key items with big contribution to the State budget declined, which are big difficulties and challenges Lao Cai international railway Customs Branch faced in 2019. However, with efforts and determination, the unit completed its tasks.  

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Operations at Lao Cai international railway Customs Branch. Photo: T. Binh

Railways has not met the demand

Speaking to Customs Newspaper, manager of Lao Cai international railway Customs Branch (under Lao Cai Customs Department) Doan Thi Ngoc Ha said the unit faced many difficulties and challenges in 2019. In addition to the impacts of the US-China trade war which were serious and prolonged, the unit also faced difficulties due to the special features of the area.

“First of all, it is an objective factor that the railway system is degraded and uncompetitive while the highway system is rapidly developing,” said Ha

The Noi Bai - Lao Cai highway has been operated stably over the past years, which has improved the efficiency of transportation by truck, which is more competitive than the transportation by train such as reducing time and costs, increasing the activeness.

Meanwhile, capacity and infrastructure of international transportation by train is limited because the railway managed and operated by Vietnam has not been upgraded in accordance with the Chinese railway’s framework, train station infrastructure has not met transportation and goods storage; the number of freight cars eligible for international transportation is insufficient, increasing transport costs and time, and less competitive than road transportation.

Therefore, the railway system was a traditional strength but it no longer attracts many businesses to participate in import and export activities.

In addition, export turnover of yellow phosphorus was lower than the same period in 2018 due to the increase in electricity price (the input component constituting the selling price); price competition due to oversupply and technical requirements of importing countries, which made this item decrease in both volume and value by nearly 20 percent compared to 2018.

Another key commodity, imported fertilisers, also decreased compared to 2018. Specifically, taxable main import items as DAP and NPK fertilisers have faced many difficulties due to competition with similar products which have been domestically produced, the ​​agricultural land area decreased due to adverse weather and there were still goods in stock, so the importing demand and volume decreased.

For the year of 2019, total import-export turnover at the branch was more than US$257.7 million, a sharp decrease of 24.3 percent compared to 2018.

The above factors exerted great strain on the implementation of the branch's budget collection work in 2019.

Strive to reach all three targets

In 2019, revenue target of Lao Cai international railway customs branch was adjusted by Lao Cai Customs Department with additional revenue of VND 405 billion by the General Department of Customs VND 410 billion, by the Lao Cai People's Committee VND 415 billion.

The branch’s leader said that amid difficult import-export turnover, to complete the budget collection task, the unit has promoted solutions for administrative procedure reform and customs modernisation to facilitate import and export activities and attract more businesses.

In particular, the unit continues to publicise policies and laws, administrative procedures and documents on import and export activities at its office and customs checkpoints.

Implementing e-customs procedures through the automated customs clearance system VNACCS / VCIS, applying operations and processes under the ISO 9001: 2008 quality management system of Lao Cai Customs Department.

In 2019, the branch reviewed and revised one process and introduced one process related to professional activities at the branch.

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In particular, the branch has reviewed and established quarterly revenue collection plans and taken measures to attract imports and exports to increase budget revenues.

Thereby, until the last days of 2019, Lao Cai international railway customs branch reached all three targets of budget revenue to the tune of VND 420.3 billion.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang