Vietnam to officially connect to ASEAN Single Window in 2018 hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the third meeting of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and trade facilitation on January 9 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue chaired a meeting Hanoi on January 9, asking ministries and sectors to work harder to officially connect Vietnam with the ASEAN Single Window mechanism in 2018.

He made the request at the third meeting of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and trade facilitation.

The committee’s standing agency reported that as of December 15, 2017, 11 ministries and sectors had implemented 47 procedures on the National Single Window mechanism, up eight procedures from 2016, and handled more than 790,700 dossiers submitted by about 19,980 businesses. From January 1 to December 15, 2017, over 554,500 dossiers were handled, up 272 percent year on year.

According to a report of the World Bank in 2017, the time for direct customs clearance for export goods at ports of entry in Vietnam reduced by three hours while that for import goods were cut down by six hours. Costs for direct customs clearance at ports of entry for one batch of export or import goods declined 19 USD.

Data as of December 15, 2017, show that businesses saved more than 205 million USD for customs clearance procedures, over 15 million hours of storage for exports and over 33 million hours of storage for imports.

The Ministry of Finance said by December 2017, ministries and sectors had amended and supplemented 74 out of 87 documents on specialised management and examination. Some documents were revised to facilitate businesses and reduce the time for customs clearance, which was applauded by the business community.

In 2017, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted a survey to find out how companies feel about customs activities. Accordingly, 25 percent of the 1,000 respondents said it was difficult and very difficult to carry out specialised examination procedures while only 8 percent shared the view that it was easy and very easy to undertake the procedures.

About 39 percent of the surveyed enterprises said there were too many regulations on specialised examination, making it difficult for them to comply with. Meanwhile, 98 percent perceived that many regulations did not match the reality, and 81 percent said it took a long time for examination.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy PM Hue said it is necessary to simultaneously facilitate trade and fight trade fraud while preventing red tape caused in the name of trade fraud prevention.

He asked ministries and sectors to carry out all 130 new administrative procedures in 2018 as registered in the master plan for implementing the National Single Window and the ASEAN Single Window for 2016-2020.

The Deputy PM also told them to remove at least 50 percent of goods from the list of items subject to specialised examination. They also have to reduce the rate of goods batches subject to specialised examination during customs clearance from 30-35 percent of the total batches at present to 15 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

A competitive and transparent environment is also needed for many organisations to engage in testing, verifying and certifying goods, he added.-VNA