Firms more satisfied with customs: survey

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2019 08:14

Customs procedures are implemented at Le Thanh International Border Gate in Gia Lai – Kon Tum. The ratio of enterprises reporting difficulties in implementing customs procedures dropped considerably compared with the findings in 2015. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

Businesses have been increasingly satisfied when dealing with administrative procedures in export-import activities. However, more reforms are needed to further facilitate firms’ operation, heard attendants at a conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in collaboration with the General Department of Viet Nam Customs, and the US Agency for International Development conducted the survey as part of a 2018 report on business satisfaction concerning administrative procedures for import and export activities.

The survey included more than 3,000 domestic enterprises, foreign-invested firms and State-owned enterprises, covering aspects such as access to information, customs officers’ services and goods inspections.

“The satisfaction of the business community towards the customs sector has improved in most aspects,” said VCCI’s head of Legal Affairs Department Dau Anh Tuan.

He said that 91 per cent of the surveyed enterprises considered the information provided by customs agencies consistent and 90 per cent reported that the available customs information was easy to find.

The respective figures for 2015 were 77 per cent and 81 per cent.

In addition, the ratio of enterprises reporting difficulties also dropped considerably compared with the findings in 2015.

The report showed that ‘unofficial fees’ which firms sometimes had to pay to customs officers in implementing import-export procedures have reduced sharply. Only 18 per cent of surveyed companies said they had to pay the fees, which was much lower than that of 28 per cent in 2015.

However, up to 70 per cent of the 3,000 import-export firms polled nationwide said they wanted simpler administrative procedures.

According to the report, 56 per cent and 53 per cent of the surveyed firms faced difficulties in looking for information about the procedures and in checking the codes of their submitted documents, respectively.

Some 53 per cent of them suggested relevant agencies increase their application of IT, while 43 per cent asked for boosted customs openness and transparency as well as better performance of public personnel.

Approximately 30 per cent recommended the customs sector improve its infrastructure system.

Tuan said the survey was carried out amid the emerging need of customs reform in line with the Government’s Resolution 19 on improving the business climate and national competitiveness.

It focused on categories of information access, customs administrative procedures, customer service, the national single-window information portal, and unofficial fees, among others.

The survey was conducted as a way to make recommendations to relevant authorities for suitable amendments to legal regulations that could facilitate the business community.

Deputy General Director of Viet Nam Customs, Hoang Viet Cuong, said the sector had been working to implement comprehensive reform toward reinforcing the customs – enterprise partnership and increasing activities that facilitate import and export activities.

The customs authority had conducted numerous surveys to learn of businesses’ difficulties and gather their feedback regarding procedures, he noted, adding that the comments had been turned into proposals to relevant State agencies.

In addition, the customs sector had increased check-ups using modern technology. The General Department of Customs has installed a system of container scanners and cameras, as well as implementing an automatic customs supervision system which helps reduce customs clearance time and the supervision of customs officers. — VNS

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