Hai Phong Customs Department Director Nguyen Tien Loc discusses the new customs law with Vietnam News Agency, saying the one-stop shop mechanism was the main focus of the legislation.
What is new about the Customs Law 2014 compared to the old one?
The Customs Law 2014 aims to comprehensively implement the national one-stop shop (OSS) customs mechanism, which allows customs declarers to send all electronic documents for import or export procedures to an integrated information system. State agencies will use this system to make decisions about goods to be imported and exported, as well as transit and customs clearance.
The responsibilities of enterprises that provide services at ports and warehouses are clearly regulated while the principle of risk management will be applied in customs examinations.
Did the Hai Phong Customs Department encounter any difficulty in implementing the new law?
The Department organised several training workshops on the new law for 350 local customs officers together with enterprises from Hai Phong and other provinces like Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Thai Binh since the beginning of 2014. During the last few months of the year, the Department also sent officer teams to enterprises that do business in trading or at ports and warehouses to instruct them on the implementation of the law.
According to the law, enterprises that provide services at ports and warehouses are responsible for installing the equipment used for customs examinations. The enterprises should also connect their goods management system with the electronic customs clearance system of the customs agencies while putting a restriction on transporting goods in and out of ports and warehouses without official customs documents.
However, some port and warehouse service providers in Hai Phong are small-scale and not connected to the others, making it very difficult and time-consuming to have them meet all the requirements of the new law. Moreover, the spirit of self-awareness and self-discipline are essential for carriers, port and warehouse service providers as well as trading enterprises to share their exclusive information and data.
Advanced infrastructure is also needed to realise the national OSS customs mechanism, especially information technology infrastructure for data synchronisation.
If some circumstances that are not mentioned in the law arise, how will they be handled?
According to Archive 10946 by the Ministry of Finance on the guidelines of the Customs Law 2014, any current regulations in other law documents that are non-contradictory to the Customs Law 2014 will remain valid until they are replaced by other regulations. If they are not in line with the Customs Law 2014, the customs law shall act as the only reference.
What is your opinion on the impact of the new customs law in attracting investment and improving enterprises' competitiveness?
The Customs Law 2014 marked the global integration of bringing the international customs agreements that Viet Nam signed in recent years into domestic law, with the aim of developing a modern, simplified customs management standard. Administrative reform on the institutional level, coupled with application of the electronic customs system, helps enterprises save time and money. Moreover, this reduces the likelihood of a situation arising when enterprises have to directly deal with customs officers for goods clearance and are asked for bribes. Furthermore, enterprises that have high export balance will enjoy some privileges designed to motivate their business. — VNS