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Vietnamese firms urge further cuts to customs red tape

'It's not just customs procedures; unofficial fees to complete administrative procedures quickly and conveniently are rife across all sectors.'

Ngày đăng: 16 tháng 9, 2021
Cập nhật: 19 tháng 1, 2023
Lượt xem: 316726555
Nguồn: vnexpress

Vietnamese companies still have to pay unofficial fees to get through customs procedures, and many are calling for the procedures to be simplified, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said on Thursday.

Customs has made significant reforms to facilitate import-export activities over the past years and is at the forefront of applying information technology to administrative procedures, said Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of VCCI.

Hoang Quang Phong (C), vice president of VCCI, said customs has made significant reforms to facilitate import-export activities. Photo courtesy of VCCI

A VCCI survey on customs procedures found that 31 percent of businesses had to pay under-the-table payments to clear customs procedures, up from 28 percent in 2016, while nearly a third of respondents said they were treated unfairly if they refused to pay the fee.

The survey, the fourth conducted so far by the VCCI in cooperation with the General Department of Customs, sent questionnaires to 3,500 import-export enterprises nationwide, and more than 1,000 responded.

“It's not just customs procedures; unofficial fees to complete administrative procedures quickly and conveniently are rife across all sectors,” said Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI's legal department. 

A representative of a business association in Hai Phong City called for amendments to customs policies to be better communicated to businesses that are struggling to keep up with the changes. 

As many as 93 percent of firms viewed changes to customs policies and regulations as positive over the past five years, and nearly all respondents expressed satisfaction, saying they could easily find the information they needed on the customs website, according to the report.

However, most firms also said specialized checks were complicated and sometimes overlapping, while eight in 10 firms said the waiting time was too long and put a burden on their firms.

In response, Kim Long Bien, a senior manager at the General Department of Customs, said the customs agency is on track to reducing clearance times and the number of specialized inspections. It is also simplifying administrative procedures while digitizing import-export procedures, customs clearance and tax payments for businesses.

"We will take concrete action to make changes happen," Bien said, adding that Vietnam aims to break into the top four countries in Southeast Asia when it comes to customs services.


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