Ho Chi Minh City ’s Customs Department and enterprises met on Dec. 7 to discuss problems related to new regulations issued this year on the management of imports and exports.

Nguyen Huu Nghiep, deputy head of the HCM City Department of Customs, said both companies and customs staff are confused about many new regulations because relevant ministries have not issued guiding documents on the new rules.

For instance, the new Food Safety Law came into effect at the beginning of July, but no guidance decree has been issued for implementing it, according to Nghiep.

Regarding imports of animal feed, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) a few months ago issued Decree 66 which regulates animal-feed imports. However, there has been no specific guidance for implementing the decree.

As a result, hundreds of containers of agro-products, foodstuff and animal feed have remained backed up at ports since July.

Following a request from companies and the customs sector, MARD extended Decree 66 to June 30, 2012 to provide more time for businesses and the customs sector to prepare for the new decree.

To help companies and customs offices, Nghiep has also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to provide clear guidance on Decree 197, which regulates import of cosmetics, mobile phones, wines, and cars with nine or fewer seats.

In addition, the department will implement a “one-door” customs office at Cat Lai Port in the near future to enable faster goods clearance, he said.

The department also answered the enterprises’ questions on issues related to customs regulations.

Organised by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), the meeting on Dec. 7 was attended by representatives from 100 enterprises./.