Necessary infrastructure has been basically completed for the launching of the “one-stop-shop” customs model at Lao Bao border gate in the central province of Quang Tri, slated for January 1, 2015.

The model is expected to cut by half the time taken to clear customs procedures at the pair of Lao Bao – Densavan border gates between Vietnam and Laos.

The Lao side has also finished preparations for the change at the Densavan border gate.

Vietnam and Laos inked a memorandum of understanding on the implementation of the “one-stop shop” model at the Lao Bao-Desavan border gates in 2005 in line with an agreement on facilitating people’s travel and goods transport across border signed by countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

Under the MoU, the model would be deployed in four steps, starting with one-stop shop customs check for goods, then expanding to the process of all customs procedures and examination. Next the model would also cover quarantine and health checks and finally be completed with the inclusion of migration control.

In 2012, the countries agreed to take a short cut from step one to step four, but little progress was made in realising the model due to a lack of relevant official documents and a mismatch between regulations of the two sides. The incomplete infrastructure at the two border gates also hindered the implementation. Vietnam and Laos held a meeting at deputy foreign minister level over this issue in February 2014 and agreed to strive to begin a trial run of the “one stop shop” model at Lao Bao border gate on January 1, 2015.

The “one-stop-shop” model is expected to remarkably shorten customs clearance duration, thus saving time and reducing cost for enterprises. This is considered a breakthrough in the reform of customs administrative procedure.-VNA