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National Steering Committee for ASW, NSW and trade facilitation: Connecting NSW and specialized inspections

09:54 | 26/09/2016

VCN- The Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs have completed a dossier to submit to the Prime Minister for establishment of "the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window, the National Single Window and trade facilitation (hereinafter referred to as “the new Committee”) to replace the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window.

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national steering committee for asw nsw and trade facilitation connecting nsw and specialized inspections
Mr. Nguyen Cong Binh, the Deputy Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

A Customs Newspaper reporter interviewed Mr. Nguyen Cong Binh, the Deputy Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (standing agency of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window) on the necessity of establishment of the new Committee and the impact of the new Committee on the reform, and simplication of procedures and trade facilitation.

In order to make the commitment of the Government in the implementation of the ASEAN Single Window, in 2011, the Prime Minister established the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window. Why has the Government decided to establish the new Committee now, Sir?

The National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window was established under Prime Minister’s Decision No. 2120 / QD-TTg of November 29, 2011 making the commitment of the Government in the implementation of the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window on the basis of regional agreements including: the Agreement on the establishment and implementation of the ASEAN Single Window (2005); the Protocol on building and deploying the ASEAN Single Window (2006) and the Protocol on the legal framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window (2015).

There is a standing agency located in the headquarters of the General Department of Vietnam Customs which has assisted the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window. Since its establishment, the National Steering Committee has implemented the NSW and the ASW on the basis of legal policies, and procedures reform, and built an information technology system to connect and perform administrative procedures through the National Single Window and the ASEAN Single Window. Since the National Steering Committee was put into operation, it has had a series of great achievements, such as the implementation of the NSW with the participation of 10 ministries and the ASW with the participation of 4 countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Until now, the Vietnam National Single Window has attracted the participation of thousands of enterprises in the field of transportation, import-export and specialized inspections. Until September 15, 2016, more than 165,000 records have been made through the portal of the National Single Window, which contributes to the reform, simplification of procedures and reduces Customs clearance time.

The successful implementation of the ASW and the NSW has confirmed the important role of the National Steering Committee and gained the belief of businesses and organizations in the reform of the Government. On the other hand, the integration process of Vietnam to the world through free trade agreements and trade facilitation (Vietnam – Korea Free Trade Agreement, Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement, the Agreement on trade facilitation in the WTO and TPP) requires the Government to implement reform drastically, towards standardization, harmonization and simplification of administrative procedures in accordance with international standards. In this context, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Finance to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies related to the Prime Minister to add the task "comprehensive reform of administrative procedures to improve business environment and enhance national competitiveness in the field of exchange of goods across the border" into the common task of the National Steering Committee.

In order to implement the directions of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs has studied and proposed plans to establish the New Committee on the basis of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window. In late May 2016, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue – the Head of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window and the National Single Window agreed with the proposal of the Ministry of Finance for consideration and establishment of the new Committee named “the National Steering Committee for ASW, NSW and trade facilitation”.

Until now, after consulting relevant ministries, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs have completed the dossiers and documents to establish the new Committee to submit to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision.

With new roles and positions, what will the new Committee focus on, Sir?

The new Committee shall help the Prime Minister to inspect and implement three main tasks as follows:

First, implement operation and maintenance of the NSW and the ASW according to the commitments of the ASEAN Community.

Second, implement Vietnam's commitments in the field of trade facilitation in the Agreement on trade facilitation of the WTO and other international treaties related to trade facilitation, and

Third, implement solutions to facilitate the exchange of exported and imported goods through the border and enhance national competitiveness at the request of the Government to ensure security and defense.

In the near future, the new Committee will focus on implementing the Plan on application of the NSW and the ASW in the period 2016 - 2020 right after the plan is approved by the Prime Minister. In addition, the new Committee shall organize the scheme on improvement of specialized inspections for exported and imported goods.

Thus, compared to the former National Steering Committee, the task of the new Committee will be expanded with more functions and important tasks such as trade facilitation, improvement of national competitiveness while ensuring security and defense.

The fact has shown that one of the obstacles in the implementation of the NSW and specialized inspections is a lack of effective coordination among the relevant ministries, how will this issue be resolved when the new Committee is established?

In recent times, the implementation of the NSW and specialized inspections has gained great achievements due to the active operations of the relevant Ministries, typically the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. However, coordination among ministries and agencies should be closely linked and be more effective. As a standing agency, the General Department of Vietnam Customs recommends that the new Committee enhances coordination among Ministries and agencies in the implementation and operation of the NSW.

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Moreover, the General Department of Vietnam Customs proposes relevant Ministries to actively cooperate and implement specific work in building information technology infrastructure, and the legal basis and solutions for problems.

Thank you!

By Thai Binh/ Hoang Anh