The length of Vietnamese customs clearance processes was shared for the first time at a meeting in Hanoi on September 19.

Data revealed that the average customs clearance process for imports took more than 115 hours; the shortest taking just several hours and the longest taking 1,400 hours.

Meanwhile, it took an average of 11.6 hours for customs agencies to handle procedures relating to exports.

The study was conducted between September 9-14, 2013, in eleven sub-departments of the Customs Department in seven localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong city, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. More than 7,400 customs declarations for goods traded by sea, air and land were surveyed in accordance with the World Customs Organisation’s standards.

Participants in the meeting said such a disparity between processing imports and exports meant relevant agencies should urgently develop measures to adjust it.

Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, admitted that the customs sector should overhaul its clearance processes to minimise the time needed to inspect goods, and expand the e-tax declaration and payment scheme.

Additionally, the sector will consolidate risk management capacities and closely monitor enterprises that have not complied with customs regulations.

From now on, the customs clearance duration survey is to be conducted three times every five years, with the next study taking place in 2015.-VNA