Illustrative image (Source: VGP)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The National Single Window (NSW) customs mechanism has made significant contributions to administrative reform in Vietnam since it was officially launched in November 2014, notably creating more favourable conditions for enterprises.

The Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance said on July 23 that a total of 53 administrative procedures in 11 ministries and sectors have to date connected to the NSW mechanism.

As of July 15, 1.34 million dossiers from 22,800 businesses were handled through this mechanism.

Through the NSW, enterprises do not need to directly work with each State agency to complete administrative procedures, thus helping reduce time and costs, and shorten the duration for customs clearance of goods. The mechanism has contributed to building an open and transparent administrative sector, improving competitiveness of businesses and the economy, and increasing the efficiency of State management.

Besides benefitting enterprises, the implementation of the NSW mechanism has also brought a lot of benefits to State management agencies as they get familiar with conducting administrative procedures without paperwork, and have more experience in simplifying and modernising administrative procedures. It has prepared Vietnam well for negotiations of bilateral and multilateral agreements on the mutual recognition of technical standards, and e-licenses and e-certificates in order to simplify administrative procedures in importing countries, thus shortening customs clearance and facilitating the export of Vietnamese products.

According to a World Bank report, in 2017, Vietnam was able to slash 3 hours for customs procedures for exported goods from 58 to 55 hours and 6 hours for imported goods from 62 to 56 hours. Meanwhile, the cost of direct customs clearance at the border gate for a consignment dropped down by 19 USD. It is estimated that with more than 11 million customs declarations in 2017, the enterprises were able to save over 200 million USD while saving more than 16 million hours from storing the exported items in warehouses and more than 34 million hours from storing imported goods in warehouses.

However, Nguyen Cong Binh, deputy head of the Vietnam Customs, said that the number of procedures connected to the NSW – 53 out of 251 – is still modest compared to the target set.

To speed up the implementation of the NSW and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) customs mechanisms, the department said that it is necessary to continue completing legal foundations and reforming administrative procedures to create a sufficient legal framework for the use and exchange of e-dossiers.

Binh emphasised the importance of implementing an information technology system to serve the implementation of the NSW mechanism as well as building a supervision and assessment mechanism within the business community on the implementation of tasks by ministries and sectors.

In 2018, the Finance Ministry will coordinate with ministries and sectors in completing and submitting an action plan for the approval of the Government and Prime Minister. The plan looks to boost the NSW and ASW customs mechanisms and reform specialised inspections over imports and exports for 2018-2020.

According to Deputy Finance Minister Vu Thi Mai, by the end of this year, an additional 143 administrative procedures will be carried out through the mechanism, raising the total to 196, equivalent to 78 percent of the 251 procedures expected to be implemented by 2020. –VNA