Economic Sector

Last updated: Thursday, February 21, 2019


Top 10 Customs Events in 2017

Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 elapsed with many outstanding events of the customs sector among which the General Department of Vietnam Customs named Top 10 events.

Strongly applying information technology to practice
The most prominent event of the customs sector in 2017 was the launch of the Vietnam Automated System for Seaport/Airport Customs Management System at provincial/municipal customs departments. After many months of preparation, on December 11, 2017, the project was officially launched and piloted in Hai Phong City. The project has brought about many benefits as customs authorities can manage more closely and enterprises achieve better business performances with less cost because of less manpower, less paperwork and less port/warehousing time of commodities. The system is expected to be expanded into customs departments of Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa and Can Tho in the coming time.

The next top event is the deployment of 24/7 Electronic Tax Collection and Customs Clearance Scheme. Money settlement will be made via credit institutions, especially 36 commercial banks in cooperation with the General Department of Vietnam Customs. Electronic payments conducted via banks in 2016 accounted for 90 per cent of total State budget revenues contributed by the customs sector. However, coordinating banks which are responsible for collecting money have not supported cut-off-time (COT) money transfer, thus failing to meet the target of electronic tax payment transactions at any time, in any place and via any medium. Therefore, to overcome the above limitations, on June 21, 2017, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued Decision 2082/QD-TCHQ approving the Scheme of 24/7 Electronic Tax Payment via Coordinating Banks. The deployment of the scheme was a breakthrough in tax collection and other collections as it supports taxpayers to perform tax payment transactions at any time, in any place. This was appreciated by the business community and joined by 11 initial commercial banks.

In addition, a series of events with the aim of better serving business and customs management of the customs sector like the deployment of single-window mechanism at all international airports, the opening of Vietnam Trade Information Portal (VTIP) in March 2017, and the provision of electronic customs information for concerned agencies to settle administrative procedures. The use of e-customs declaration information has actively helped implement the contents of “reducing papers, shortening time, reducing costs of handling export and import administrative procedures” and “sharing information between specialised inspection/management agencies and customs bodies” as set forth in the Government’s Resolution 19-2016/NQ-CP. At the same time, it has facilitated the deployment of e-government under Resolution 36a/NQ-CP of the Government. As of December 31, 2017, the VTIP had 1,160 registered accounts and nearly 90,000 declaration information lookups.

Breakthroughs in financial and budgetary expenditures
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, Vietnam, for the first time, had an annual trade value of over US$400 billion. In 2001, Vietnam’s trade value was modestly at US$30 billion. After becoming the full member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the country’s yearly trade value amounted US$100 billion in 2007. Despite adverse impacts of global economic crisis and recession, its trade value still doubled to US$200 billion in 2011 and trebled to nearly US$300 billion four years after that.

Vietnam’s trade performance became a leading light in 2017 when the economy was still in difficulty. Given that the growth in the next period is the same as in 2011-2017 (16 per cent for exports and 14 per cent for imports), the trade value will climb to US$500 billion in 2019. The first-ever US$400 billion of trade value was significantly contributed by the customs sector.

Another success of the customs sector was tax revenue. Since the beginning of 2017, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has focused on implementing the task of collecting State budget collection and assigning targets to provincial/municipal customs departments. At the same time, the sector applied solutions to State management of state budget revenue, combated smuggling and trade frauds, stepped up post-customs clearance inspections; and particularly prevented fraudulent pricing, tax rate and origin. Furthermore, accelerating administrative reform to provide favourable conditions for import and export activities, actively coordinating with concerned bodies to carry out National Single-Window mechanism, and piloting the 24/7 tax payment system enabled businesses to pay taxes at any time, in any place and by any means.

As a result, State budget revenue rose 9.47 per cent year on year to VND297,082 billion from January 1 to December 31, 2017, equal to 104.24 per cent of the estimate, 102.44 per cent of the target set by the Prime Minister and 100.71 per cent of the target set by the Ministry of Finance (VND295 trillion).

In addition, 2017 witnessed the prominent events of the customs sector at APEC Vietnam 2017. The Vietnam Customs successfully hosted the first Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) Meeting on the sidelines of the First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) and the second SCCP Meeting on the sidelines of SOM3 and a series of APEC-related activities. APEC SCCP 2017 with two major priorities: (i) trade facilitation and (ii) trade security in regional supply chains went on right track with APEC trade cooperation priorities of the Trade and Investment Committee, helping achieve APEC 2017 national priorities and topics to attain APEC trade development clearly stated in the 2020 Bogo Goals on trade and investment liberation.

Le Hien

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