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Vietnam Customs and MARD review work relating to the NSW and specialized inspections

07:41 | 17/09/2016

On September 7th, 2016 at the meeting between Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Mr. Nguyen Van Can, Director General of Customs on implementation of administrative formalities via the National Single Window (NSW) and specialized inspections, Deputy Minister of MARD directed his units to change inspection and examiniation methods from the traditional manner into the application of risk management, i.e. goods classification for inspection.     

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On September 7th, 2016 at the meeting between Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Mr. Nguyen Van Can, Director General of Customs on implementation of administrative formalities via the National Single Window (NSW) and specialized inspections, Deputy Minister of MARD directed his units to change inspection and examiniation methods from the traditional manner into the application of risk management, i.e. goods classification for inspection.

vietnam customs and mard review work relating to the nsw and specialized inspections
Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of the MARD and Mr. Nguyen Van Can, Director General of Customs worked together to carry out the NSW and specialized inspections. (Photo: N.Linh)

The National Single Window in the field of agriculture comes into play

At the meeting, leaders of the two agencies agreed to minimize administrative formalities, facilitating enterprises and individuals and satisfying the requirements of Resolution No. 19/2016/NQ-CP by the Government and Prime Ministerial Decision 2026/QD-TTg. The Director General of Customs Nguyen Van Can said that the General Department of Customs in the role of the standing agency of the NSW Steering Board would take notes of the NSW implementation by MARD and explore problems to report to the NSW Steering Board for prompt measures.

Giving high evaluation of the NSW’s efficiency, representatives from the Department of Livestock Husbandry revealed that since implementation of formalities for registering examination and certification of imported feed, there have been more than 21,000 dossiers registered via the NSW. Now enterprises do not have to come to the inspection agency to conduct administrative formalities. This helps them save time and cost and receive results by post. Over 400 million vnd may be saved in terms of express fees in sending and receiving results. In addition, administrative formalities performance via the NSW has changed the working style of Customs officials in a more professional manner, contributing to office modernization, transparency and publicity of Customs officials’ operational activities as well as public service performance in this field.

Besides, the formality to grant phytosanitary certificates for plants that are imported, transited and inland transported also brings a variety of benefits for traders. According to representatives from the Department of Plant Protection, this formality needs the most documents and dossiers. Hence, implementation of the NSW helps save a lot of time and cost for traders and the NSW is highly appraised by traders. In the past, when following traditional procedures, it took traders 3 trips to complete a dossier for permits. Currently, it is different. The traders need to go once and the number of papers has reduced from 8 documents to 3.

Addressing the working session, the Director General of Customs Nguyen Van Can said that beside achievements gained, in the coming time MARD need to further expand the prevailing formalities to the rest of areas and enterprises and at the same time extend new formalities such as issuing food safety certificates for goods originating from imported plants; phytosanitary, examining products originating from imported animals, phytosanitary formalities for imported and exported marine products that are not used as food and phytosanitary formalities for imported and exported marine products that are used as food. In order to carry out this plan, the MARD should collaborate with the General Department of Customs to review the legal framework concerning administrative formalities that are to be implemented via the NSW, developing, completing and taking advantages of the IT system.

The List of goods to be inspected by specialized agencies should be cut

With regard to the field of specialized inspection, the General Department of Customs revealed that MARD has actively coordinated with Customs to review legal texts in terms of specialized inspections and to set up uniform specialized inspection stations.

However, due to the fact that fields and commodity items under MARD’s management scope are extensive, most obstacles relating to specialized inspection of imports and exports involve MARD.

The General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can supposed that MARD should soon solve the problems in terms of food safety inspection. The list of items should be made into details and completed with sufficient HS codes; inspection procedures should be amended at the same time; risk management needs to be applied, inspection should be strengthened and reduced; the NSW needs to be run by electronic means and connect ministries, particularly in registering and returning inspection results. In addition, quality testing and listing of goods should be reduced, transferring low risk goods to post clearance audit. Regarding phytosanitary activities, MARD has issued the list of goods items with HS codes that must be inspected in terms of phytosanitary before clearance, but some groups of goods still have inappropriate HS codes with Preferential Import and Export Duties Nomenclature.

Facing the above mentioned problems raised by the General Department of Customs, units under MARD proposed directions for the coming time. Representatives from the Department of Plant Protection admitted that there were many consignments subjected to both phytosanitary and food safety inspection, which was causing difficulties for enterprises. At present, the Department is making proposals to MARD to revise Circular No. 12/2015/TT-BNNPTNT guiding food safety inspection of goods originating from imported plants toward minimizing inspection levels and increasing post clearance audits. In parallel, food safety inspection procedures should be merged with phytosanitary procedures for imported consignments that must undergo both food safety inspection procedures and phytosanitary procedures for simplification of procedures. Forecasting activities of imports’ risks by assessing risks rising in exporting countries should be enhanced to minimize time in inspecting imported consignments in Viet Nam.

Addressing the issues at the meeting, Deputy Minister of the MARD, Mr. Ha Cong Tuan requested his units to review and prepare an evaluation of implementing administrative formalities via the NSW. On that basis, proposals to the Government and Ministries and associated agencies should be made. These are the basis for MARD to develop an action plan in 2017. The Deputy Minister asked units to proactively review the content relating to the NSW and specialized inspections for ensuring administrative formalities reform, shortening imports and exports clearance time. Especially, further coordination with the General Department of Customs’ units to review legislation and have a look at the same direction from traditional inspection management by Customs to risk management.

Director General of Customs Nguyen Van Can

In the implementation of the NSW, MARD is one of the most proactive ministries. Up till now, 9 import and export related administrative formalities under the Ministry’s management scope have been processed via the NSW with 1,026 enterprises and 25,888 sets of dossiers as a whole.

Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan:

“Customs Administration has applied risk management very well so each unit needs to consider the connection of Risk management with the whole Customs system. Lists of commodities to be inspected should be streamlined. There should not be any list of thousands of commodities that Customs is not able to inspect at all”.

By Ngoc Linh/Phuong Lien