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Enterprises seeking further reduction in customs red tape

Update: November, 13/2015 - 08:34

The survey found that a majority of businesses rated the level of compliance of customs officers with regulations as "normal". — Photo ndh.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Despite efforts to hasten administrative reforms, there is still room for further reduction in customs procedures, and businesses expect more simplification.

A report on the business satisfaction with the customs administrative procedures launched yesterday revealed that 82 per cent of the more than 3,000 surveyed firms said that they expected customs administrative procedures to be further simplified and service quality to be enhanced.

Although as many as 94 per cent of firms viewed changes in customs policies and regulations as positive, a significant 58 per cent said they encountered difficulties in conducting customs procedures.

Notably, 28 per cent of respondent businesses said they have to pay unofficial charges to complete customs procedures in Viet Nam, down from the rate of 57 per cent in 2012, and 49 per cent in 2013. The report also revealed that 37 per cent of the respondents said that they did not pay unofficial customs fees, while 35 per cent were unaware of these fees.

The survey found that a majority of businesses rated the level of compliance of customs officers with regulations as "normal".

According to the Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc, the result of customs administrative procedures remained far below expectations of businesses, and called for enhanced co-operation among relevant agencies to hasten the process.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said specialised checks were complicated, and would burden firms.

Do Hoang Anh Tuan, deputy minister of finance, said customs reforms contributed towards boosting the import-export turnover to more than US$302 billion in the past 10 months.

Tuan added that the regulations about checks on quality and food hygiene and safety in import and export, which currently accounted for more than 72 per cent of time for customs clearance, were to be amended in an effort the reduce the rates.

In addition, the customs sector would continue to upgrade the e-customs system. On December 5, the one-door customs system would be put into operation in Hai Phong City.

The survey was conducted from April to June by VCCI, the General Department of Customs and the Viet Nam Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) Programme, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The findings were expected to help identify appropriate measures to promote customs administrative reforms. — VNS

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