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Vietnam’s Customs Digitalisation Agenda

Image credits: Vietnam Plus
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In a bid to streamline trade processes and bolster economic growth, the General Department of Customs in Vietnam is intensifying efforts towards digitalisation in customs activities in 2024.

This strategic move aims to enhance efficiency in customs policies and procedures while laying the groundwork for the deployment of digital customs systems. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, Vietnam aims to create a conducive environment for import-export businesses, facilitate trade promotion initiatives, and propel the nation’s economy toward its growth targets.

Image credits: Vietnam Plus

Despite facing challenges stemming from global economic fluctuations, the General Department of Customs is entrusted with a significant state budget revenue target of 375 trillion VND, with a substantial portion of 204 trillion VND expected from import and export activities.

To fortify the legal framework essential for implementing customs reforms and modernisation, the customs sector is diligently preparing documents for the electronic and digital implementation of customs administrative procedures. Notably, recent regulatory advancements include the issuance of Circular 33/2023/TT-BTC by the Ministry of Finance, which delineates guidelines for determining the origin of export and import goods.

Furthermore, the customs sector is expediting the finalisation of crucial decrees pivotal for administrative reform. These decrees encompass regulations on quality and food safety inspection for imported goods, customs management for e-commerce trade, and amendments to existing customs laws to streamline procedures and enhance efficiency.

Emphasising the significance of digitalisation, Nguyen The Viet, Deputy Director of the Division on Customs Supervision and Management at the General Department of Customs, highlights ongoing efforts to develop the digital customs and smart customs project. This initiative aims to seamlessly manage customs activities in the digital realm, spanning the entire process from pre-clearance to post-clearance stages for goods and transportation means.

Moreover, the General Department of Customs is actively advocating for reforms in the management and specialised inspection of import and export goods. Efforts are also directed towards optimising the National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window platforms through digital transformation, ensuring streamlined operations and enhanced trade facilitation.

Currently, core customs procedures are conducted via the VNACCS/VCIS system across all customs offices nationwide. The General Department of Customs has also expanded online public services to levels 3 and 4, facilitating smoother administrative processes for stakeholders.

In 2023, Vietnam’s total goods import and export value amounted to 683 billion USD, albeit experiencing a 6.6% decline from the previous year. Despite market challenges, the General Department of Customs remains proactive in implementing resolutions to support trade activities, alleviate business hurdles, and meet state budget revenue targets.

One notable initiative is the issuance of Decision 123/QD-TCHQ, which underscores administrative reforms, simplification of customs procedures, and enhanced trade facilitation efforts. As a result, customs clearance and goods handling times have been reduced by 10%, with a notable uptick in electronic documentation certifying goods’ origin.

Moreover, customs authorities are prioritising the swift clearance of agricultural and perishable goods, collaborating with local authorities to streamline customs processes at key border gates. Notably, border gates in Lang Son province have extended customs clearance hours, contributing to a substantial increase in import-export turnover and ensuring the smooth flow of goods across borders.

Vietnam’s commitment to digital transformation in customs operations underscores its proactive stance in fostering a conducive business environment, promoting trade, and fortifying its position in the global market landscape.

OpenGov Asia reported that In Vietnam’s drive towards digitalisation, the nation emphasises the imperative of collective action to propel the nation’s digital transformation agenda forward. Minister Nguyen Manh Hung emphasises the vital role of collaboration in leveraging technology for economic prosperity, mobilising specialised teams to lead transformation initiatives across sectors, and positioning Vietnam as a leader in the global digital revolution.


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