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|With single window systems, the customs clearance time could be drastically reduced, Photo: Le Toan|
An action plan anchored by a new decree is expected to include more effective and practical solutions, especially concerning the management of import-export goods, strengthening both import-export activities.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised at last week’s national conference on promoting the National Single Window (NSW) and ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and facilitating trade that the ratio of goods subject to specialised examination should be reduced to under 15 per cent, with examination methods and criteria made more transparent by issuing evaluation standards.
According to the General Department of Customs, 82,760 goods were subject to specialised inspections in the second quarter of 2015. This number went down slightly to 78,390 in the first quarter of this year.
According to a World Bank report released last year, Vietnam’s customs clearance time was cut by three hours to 55 hours for exports and by six hours to 56 hours for imports. The costs for customs clearance procedures were also reduced by $19 per batch. However, the procedures are still overlapping, while the information-sharing capacity among management agencies is low.
The ASW for customs clearance will connect and integrate the National Single Windows of ASEAN members to expedite the electronic exchange of customs data that traders can use to obtain customs clearances, permits, and other documentation for trade within ASEAN.
ASW provides a secure IT architecture and legal framework that will allow trade, transport, and commercial data to be exchanged electronically among government agencies or the trading community. This will expedite the cargo clearance process, reduce costs and time of doing business, and enhance trade efficiency and competitiveness.
The implementation of the fully-fledged ASW pilot project component 2 has begun in stages since April 2015. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam have already tested the ATIGA Form D, using the ASW-enabling architecture. The Protocol on the Legal Framework to Implement the ASW was signed in September 2015 by the ASEAN finance ministers. Member states are currently in the process of undertaking their respective domestic ratification.
Nguyen Cong Binh, deputy general director of the General Department of Customs, said that 11 ministries have so far applied 53 administrative procedures for 22,000 enterprises through the NSW. The number of procedures carried out through the NSW will be raised to 196 this year, accounting for 78 per cent of the target of 251 procedures by 2020.
Meanwhile, the government also assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to develop policies to manage the e-commerce transactions of imports and exports; the Ministry of Transport to create policies to build links between the government and logistics enterprises; and the State Bank of Vietnam to support e-commerce transactions.
By 2020, the MoIT will have to complete the nationwide expansion of administrative procedures related to the management of import-export activities through the NSW.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said that his ministry has launched an action plan to promote the NSW and ASW, focusing on administrative procedures for exports, imports, temporary imports for export, temporary exports for import, and goods in transit. The Ministry of Transport reported it has applied 52 procedures through the NSW this month and will complete its plan to make its administrative procedures available for the NSW in November.