Vietnam Customs holds dialogue with European businesses hinh anh 1Customs procedures are handled at the customs sub-department of Cha Lo International Border Gate in Quang Binh province (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The General Department of Vietnam Customs held a dialogue with European businesses in Ho Chi Minh City on August 30 to help clear customs issues of their concern, especially customs revaluation.

The European Union (EU) holds a major proportion in trade with and investment in Vietnam. Bilateral trade jumped almost 11 times from 4.1 billion USD in 2000 to 45 billion USD in 2016 and is forecast to hit 50 billion USD this year.

A survey by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) shows that most of the questioned businesses still know little about regulations on customs revaluation.

EuroCham Executive Director Almut Roessner said as most revaluation decisions in Vietnam were made by basing on customs database or reference values collected in the internet, they haven’t been objective or in line with regulations.

According to the HCM City Customs Department, only 2-3 percent of commercial goods had their customs value revaluated in 2016. The 25-percent figure provided by EuroCham might include non-commercial goods.

In response to European firms’ opinions, Nguyen Quoc Toan, deputy head of the department’s export-import tariffs division, assured that customs valuation has always been conducted in conformity with legal regulations and in a transparent manner. Customs database is not used as a basis for adjusting goods’ customs value.

To tackle obstacles during the handling of customs procedures, the customs sector will work harder to popularise new legal documents and regulations among businesses, thereby helping to promote their awareness and coordination with customs agencies in enforcing law, preventing smuggling and trade fraud, and creating a healthy business and competition environment, he said.

Deputy General Director of Vietnam Customs Hoang Viet Cuong appreciated EU businesses’ contribution to Vietnam’s economic growth, noting that improving the business climate and businesses’ competitiveness is critical to the sustainable growth and competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy.

The customs sector is striving to realise trade facilitation targets, including cutting down the time needed to handle customs procedures for export goods from 108 hours to 70 hours, and for import goods from 138 hours to 90 hours, the official added.-VNA