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Cross-border trade transaction index: Time and cost are shortened

Component indexes decreased

Commenting on the new published index, Mr. Kim Long Bien, Deputy Head of the Customs Modernization Reform Board (General Department of Customs), said that the WB's annual business environment ranking report since 2002 with the aim of helping the economic sectors, especially the private sector, to identify the interests and areas of development, reform in the clear and strict regulation of the normative documents and practical implementation. Business Environment ranking measured in 11 economic sectors/indexes (mainly in terms of cost and time), in which, an index of "cross-border trade transaction" related to the activity of the Customs.

The annual report on the Business Environment ranking in 2016 published by the World Bank in October 2016, the general index of Vietnam's business performance ranked 82/190 economies, up 9 grades compared to the Business Environment ranking in 2015. The report on the Business Environment ranking in 2017 was released on November 1st, 2017, evaluated the business environment ranking of 190 countries in 2017, Vietnam ranked 68/190 economies, up 14 grades to the Business Environment ranking in 2016.

A detailed analysis of the "Cross-Border Trade Transactions" index, Mr. Bien said that Vietnam ranked 93/190 economies in the report on the Business Environment ranking in 2016, an increase of 15 grades compared to the Business Environment ranking in 2015; Total cross-border transaction time of the import goods was 138 hours, the export goods was 108 hours. In the report on Business Environment ranking in 2017, Vietnam ranked 94/190 economies, down one grade compared to the Business Environment ranking in 2016. However, the component indexes on time and cost of export had a positive change compared with the ranking of Business Environment in 2016. Time of the across border import was 132 hours, down 6 hours compared to 2016; Time of the across border export was 105 hours, down 3 hours compared to 2016; The cost of conducting procedures at the border also decreased by US$ 19.

As above result, the goods border crossing clearance time of Vietnam narrowed considerably, ranked in the top four in Southeast Asia area (including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam). Mr. Bien added that in the list of 190 countries in the ranking of Business Environment, 10 Southeast Asian countries reduced the ranking of "cross-border trading transaction" index, in which, the highest level of reduction was 6 grades, the lowest level was 1 grade.

However, compared with the results of DB in 2017 announced by the WB, the total time of goods clearance across the border of Vietnam has not reached the target set in Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP which the total time of goods clearance across the border was 70 hours for the export goods, 90 hours for the import goods in 2017; By 2020, the total time for the export goods would be 60 hours, and 80 hours for the import goods.

Mr. Bien said that total time of customs clearance across borders was the responsibility of both the customs and other specialized management agencies. The Resolution also stated that the Ministry of Finance was responsible for the time to carry out the customs procedures, while other relevant Ministries and Branches were responsible for the time to carry out specialized inspection procedures for import and export goods (including the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Science and Technology, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transportation, Health, Information and Communication, Natural Resources and Environment, Construction, Defense Sports and Tourism ...).

Responsibility should be defined clearly

For the purpose of assessing accurately the results of implementing the Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP of the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs) on the time of customs clearance of goods across borders, recently, the General Department of Customs has sent a written request to the Central Institute for Economic Management and Research (the Ministry of Planning and Investment) to request guidance on the content and time distinguish of the responsibility of the customs office in detailed within the total time of customs clearance of goods crossing the border according to the index stated in Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP.

On the side of the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs), efforts have been made to reduce the time taken for their responsibility (accounting for only 28% of the total goods clearance time). In particular, the Customs sector has been strengthening the administrative reform, the customs modernization and the information technology application in the customs operations in order to promote trade facilitation and shorten the time for the customs clearance cross-border, reduce paperwork and costs for the enterprises.

Specifically, the General Department of Customs has been completing a series of legal documents in the direction of modern, synchronous, compliant with the policy on reform of the administrative procedures. Collaborate with other ministries, branches, and the government agencies to develop and improve the legal document system related to the customs sector, in order to limit the overlapping regulations among the management agencies, to ensure feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency.

The General Department of Customs is also pushing up the application of information technology in the customs operations such as: Building the customs management and control systems at seaports and airports to ensure the requirements of goods inspection and supervision from the beginning to the end. They have piloted successfully the system at the Hai Phong seaport (since August 15th, 2017); have piloted the Customs supervision and management system at the airport at the Noi Bai International Airport (since October 16th, 2017). The plan has been implementing to prepare for widespread official deployment throughout the country in 2018. The General Department of Customs is also upgrading and building up other information technology systems to improve the automation level, such as: The risk management system for deploying VNACCS/VCIS; The import and export statistical system for connecting the VNACCS/VCIS system... Together with that, the General Department of Customs has accelerated the deployment of online public services. The number of online public services at a minimum of Level 3 of the General Department of Customs has been currently 126/178 administrative procedures, of which 123 administrative procedures have been provided to level 4 online public services. In order to fulfill the deployment and provision of online public services at a minimum of level 3 for 42 administrative procedures in 2017, the General Department of Customs is urgently implementing technical infrastructure upgrades, developing the information technology applications and preparing for system testing.

At the same time, the Customs sector has chaired and coordinated activities with the ministries and branches to implement the National Single Window mechanism and the ASEAN Single Window mechanism. Up to now, the National Single Window mechanism has connected officially with 11 ministries and branches; In addition to the goods clearance procedure (the Ministry of Finance), 41 administrative procedures of the remaining 10 ministries have been implemented through the National Single Window. The ASEAN Single Window is also undergoing technical review to prepare for formal connectivity conditions; At the same time, the General Department of Customs also coordinates with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Information and Communications to plan and prepare the infrastructure for the official implementation of the ASEAN Single Window on E-C/O form D in January 2018. In addition, the General Department of Customs has been cooperating closely with the ministries to implement drastically in order to change fundamentally the method of specialized inspection under the principles of risk management assessment and application of international practices, to connect and share information between the specialized inspection agencies and organizations with the Customs offices.

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