|Staff at the Sai Gon Port Border Customs Sub-department Region I in HCM City operate the Viet Nam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System which is expected to be an effective tool for Vietnamese customs authorities and the government, and help the business community carry out customs clearance procedures. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City customs department collected taxes worth nearly VND94 trillion (US$4.25 billion) last year, a 5 per cent year-on-year increase, accounting for 36 per cent of the entire country-wide revenue.
"Last year 48 per cent of imports came from nations having free trade agreements with Viet Nam, and they enjoyed very low taxes," Le Duc Loi, deputy head of the city customs department, said while delivering the yearly report at a meeting on Friday.
"Tax on petrol reduced sharply and with much evasion, tax collection dropped.
"Thanks to the doubling of imports of cars with fewer than nine seats, customs could collect VND17.6 trillion ($800 million) comparing with VND8.5 trillion ($380 million) in 2014, and that helped customs achieve the year's plan."
In 2015 the customs department achieved another important goal of recovering VND750 ($34 million) in long-term tax debts, 116.5 per cent of the amount targeted.
In modernising customs procedures, an e-manifest for ships carrying import and export goods has replaced the multiple procedures in place earlier.
In HCM City there are 52 shipping companies and 489 agents registered to file e-manifests.
Air and road transport will switch over to it in future.
Last year customs officials discovered nearly 2,300 cases of smuggling involving goods worth VND221 billion besides confiscating 43.5kg cocaine and 18kg of other drugs.
They checked 20,700 containers, achieving 116 per cent of the target.
"Limited human resources, sophisticated smuggling methods, and frauds committed with the connivance of customs officials are weaknesses," Loi said.
This year the department hopes to collect taxes worth VND102.5 trillion ($4.65 billion), a year-on-year increase of 9.1 per cent, combat smuggling and trade fraud, improve personnel management, review and publicly announce customs procedures, and strengthen use of IT. — VNS