|Staff at the Tan Thanh Customs Department in Lang Son Province. E-customs procedures will be applied at all customs offices across the country from next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
HA NOI (VNS
)— After a seven-year pilot programme on the application of electronic customs procedures in Viet Nam, all Customs offices across the country will start using the system from next year.
This is part of Decree No 87/2012/ND-CP signed last month which will take effect next year, detailing provisions of the Law on Customs applicable to electronic customs procedures for commercial exports and imports.
Under the decree, declarants of electronic customs will receive prority ahead of those who submit paper documents.
Notably, individuals and organisations can make customs declarations 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The e-customs system has proved more convenient than the old paper alternative as enterprises can submit their ‘paperwork' from wherever there is internet access, helping to save time and travel expenses.
Vice head of Viet Nam's General Administration of Customs Hoang Viet Cuong said that e-customs offered many benefits and incentives for declarants, including time and cost reduction.
He said that the application of e-customs procedures had attracted the involvement of many enterprises.
For example, 80-90 per cent of goods imported/exported via HCM City, Hai Phong, Ha Noi, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau were processed using e-customs procedures.
At present, 21 out of total 34 customs departments in cities and provinces nationwide use e-customs procedures. Out of 134,000 enterprises with import/export licences, 55,000 have registered to use e-customs and made 3.47 million declarations.
Vice head of the administration's Customs Reform Board Tran Quoc Dinh said that problems that arose during the application of e-customs procedures were down to poor awareness of the regulations.
He also urged the use of digital signatures, which would create favourable conditions for e-customs.
So far, 980 enterprises have registered to use digital signatures nationwide. The pilot use of digital signatures was first introduced by Hai Phong City's Customs Department with the participation of 18 enterprises in September 2011.
This month, Viet Nam's General Administration of Customs set up a technical assistance group to implement e-customs at all customs offices to help staff and train them on Customs clearance software. — VNS