HÀ NỘI – Reforms to customs checks and procedures must facilitate trade and prevent fraud at the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ said, urging for enhanced supervision to ensure the quality of the process.
Huệ spoke on the issue at a conference held by the Việt Nam Fatherland Front on Monday. He said customs reforms in recent years had removed or simplified 70 per cent of procedures, even more than the Government's target of 50 per cent.
This helped save an estimated 12 million working days and more than VNĐ5 trillion (US$212.7 million) for firms each year, Huệ said, citing statistics from the Prime Minister’s working group.
Huệ said the implementation of the national single window system had not been as successful as expected, however, as there are still overlaps in the checks carried out by different ministries and departments.
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ spoke at the conference, saying the reforms of the customs check process must focus on facilitating trade and preventing fraud. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
Many checks were carried out without standards for import products. “This year, if there were no standards, checks could not be implemented,” Huệ said.
Huệ also said State management agencies should be in charge of key stages of inspections while other stages could be assigned to private companies because they have more modern equipment. In addition, private companies could ensure independence in checks.
“The reforms of customs checks must at once create trade facilitation and prevent fraud,” Huệ said.
“Now, focus must be placed more on preventing trade fraud by cutting and simplifying customs checks,” he said, adding that supervision of the reform process must be enhanced to ensure quality rather than quantity.
Chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vũ Tiến Lộc said customs checks were being simplified more slowly than expected, and remained a significant barrier to import and export activities.
Lộc said the length and cost of customs checks in Việt Nam were still two to three times higher than that of leading economies in ASEAN.
Greater efforts in reforming customs checks were required, Lộc said.
Statistics from the Việt Nam Fatherland Front showed that as of March, more than 70,000 product categories remained subject to customs checks after more than 12,600 categories were removed.
Việt Nam has been hastening the implementation of the national single window system. During the past four years, 97 per cent of customs procedures were connected to the system. By the end of this year, all customs procedures are expected to be connected. – VNS