Saturday, October 29 2016


IT reforms in Viet Nam's Customs on track

Update: November, 05/2015 - 10:26

The application of information technology (IT) is one of the key reforms needed for the administra-tion of taxation and customs. Nguyen Manh Tung, director of the Customs Department of IT and Statistics shared with the media the achievements and difficulties of the sector when applying IT.

How do you evaluate the application of IT in the customs sector for the past years?

Nguyen Manh Tung

The application of IT in the customs sector plays an important role in the innovation and modernisation process of the sector. Thanks to the achievements of IT application, the sector has achieved many targets in its 2020 development strategy.

Even though these achievements are also a result of the reforms in other related sectors, we cannot deny the key role of IT. The application of the IT system to serve automated customs clearance, e-payment, national one-stop shop mechanism connection and other sectors have brought positive results for the past.

Besides these achievements, what difficulties have the customs sector faced for the past time?

The customs sector required a comprehensive implementation of IT. Implementing a large IT system has never been an easy job, especially implementing IT associated with administrative procedure reforms and changing the working method of civil servants and the business community.

The biggest difficulty is the conversion from one method of working to another, which is also a common difficulty of administrative reforms, not only of the IT application. Maintaining a 24/7 operation nationwide also adds pressure on the sector with the total number of users between 50,000 and 60,000.

As you said, the customs sector is implementing a large IT system. Is the country's network infrastructure ready with the requirement?

Viet Nam's network infrastructure has seen fast growth. We used to be worried a lot but after more than a year implementing the system, the sector is still able to maintain a 24/7 system, so that people and enterprises can fill out customs declarations on a modern IT infrastructure.

I think Vietnamese infrastructure has enough conditions for concerned agencies to implement the new IT system. However, the infrastructure will need upgrading as the country develops a deeper and better IT system. The customs sector will continue to expand and connect with related agencies such as the national one-stop shop mechanism with ministries and agencies, and the port and airport businesses.

In terms of enterprises, how do you evaluate their capacity to meet the requirements of the customs sector on IT applications?

People talk a lot about the difficulties faced by enterprises in technology investment when using the customs IT system, but I do not think it is a big problem. The IT system of the customs sector, as well as that of other ministries and agencies, do not require much investment in technology from enterprises. Enterprises only need a computer for filling out declarations.

Some systems also have rules such as registering e-customs, which require digital signatures, hiring transmission lines and specialised software, but I do not think it is a big problem for import and export enterprises. — VNS

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