|A company does customs procedures to import milk into Viet Nam. The government is determined to make the procedures quick and transparent in line with the World Trade Organisation Trade Faciliatation Agreement (TFA) which Viet Nam signed in 2013. — Photo thoibaotaichinh.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The Government is determined to make custom procedures quick and transparent in line with the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which Viet Nam signed in 2013.
To further promote the reform of customs administrative procedures, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), General Department of Viet Nam Customs and Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted a seminar on "Reforming administrative procedures: customs-businesses enforce agreements to facilitate trade of the WTO."
The workshop aimed to enhance the understanding of concerned agencies and businesses about the commitment on TFA, as well as the challenges facing Viet Nam's economy, and determine the role of Vietnamese customs in honouring these commitments.
According to Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the Centre for WTO-VCCI, tariffs and customs were the two doors facing all businesses if they wanted to export goods. Therefore, the reform of these two doors are a particular concern of businesses.
Trang said the Government had carried out the resolution of problems relating to tariff barriers through free trade, bilateral and multilateral agreements.
In customs reform, the highest expectation was that all WTO members would successfully negotiate the reform of customs procedures. This was an important milestone, she added.
Through this seminar, businesses are expected to better understand the country's commitments and benefits under the TFA. From that point, businesses and customs can work together to reform customs procedures and make their import-export activities more comfortable.
Nguyen Vinh Quang, a representative of a State Governance project, said the reduction of paper work for customs procedures was needed to facilitate trade and economic development.
If customs procedures are reduced by one day or 24 hours, it will have a huge impact on the economy and lead to savings of as much as US$1.6 billion, according to Quang.
Recently, the Government issued Resolution 19 to cut the time and cost of customs procedures and improve the business environment to a level that is at par with six other countries in the ASEAN region.
Viet Nam now ranks 65th among 180 nations in conducting customs procedures. However, it takes 21 days to complete import-export procedures in the country while it takes only 11 days in Malaysia.
According to Resolution 19, if Viet Nam cut the time for carrying out customs procedures to the level of other Asean countries, about 13 to 14 days, the country's GDP will increase by about 14 per cent.
Quang expressed hopes that the implementation of Resolution 19 and TFA business and customs enforcement task forces would work together to benefit the business community.
A representative said Viet Nam Customs would continue to actively participate with stakeholders, state agencies and the business community to implement the TFA in the most effective manner. — VNS