Hai Phong Customs Department is among the leading governmental agencies in the city that involves in administrative procedure reforms under Government’s Proposal 30. IT has been applied in public governance to help simplify the procedures, reduce time and minimize costs for enterprises.
Businesses as partners
At present, the corporate capacity hasn’t been recovered but still influenced by economic recession, causing impacts on import-export activities. In such context, the local authorities have actively introduced many measures to share the difficulties and accompany with the enterprises. Particularly, Hai Phong Customs Department has seriously organised annual dialogues with businesses and dissemination, communication on Customs laws etc. Thus, there are some positive signs with the corporate profits, creating sources for contributions to State Budget.
Vietnam Customs’ programmes that have been implemented in a quick and timely manner by Hai Phong Customs Department include: count commodity release time, conduct survey on enterprises’ satisfaction towards on custom activities in terms of all 3 performance aspects of professionalism, transparency and effectiveness. These can be regarded as a breakthrough that reflects the reform determination and receptiveness of Hai Phong Customs, a primary change in approach of the Bureau towards businesses, in which they are considered partners but not management objective.
Hai Phong Customs Department also regularly reviews administrative procedures and regulations to identify and propose the competent agencies to timely amend and supplement those which are no longer suitable or difficult to follow. Particularly, it has proposed for adjustments in procedures to implement compulsory execution of taxation duty, modifications and supplements for 8 administrative procedures, elimination of the procedure to certify export, which helps save 27.76 percent of total administration cost.
In addition, Hai Phong Customs has strictly stuck to the administrative frame issued by Ministry of Finance in custom public governance to develop implementation procedures in accordance with standard of ISO 9001-2008. The adoption of ISO standard is an important progress to ensure the public, transparent exercise of administrative procedures and easiness in monitoring and investigation, as well as facilitate enterprises to understand what to do, how to prepare documents, declarations at stages of custom clearance and how much time it takes for those.
Recommendations to legal gaps
Director Nguyen Tien Loc of Hai Phong Customs Department proposes to Ministry of Finance to coordinate with Ministry of Public Security, State Bank of Vietnam and local authorities to guide its dependent bodies to coordinate and support custom offices in collect tax in cases of tax late payment or evasion. Documents are proposed to be transferred to the public security agency for investigation and verification as these are legal violations. It is reasonable for legal competent agencies to conduct investigation since custom bureau can only execute purely administrative regulations and face difficulties regarding legal authority and competency.
Furthermore, there’s a need for close coordination from Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Planning and Investment concerning the planning for sea port construction. Accordingly, there should be considerations on land area for Customs offices and other competent units to perform their function at the ports; and limitations on opening of small ports under the name of the big one.
Hai Phong Customs also requests the support of Finance Ministry for Hai Phong City People’s Committee’s proposals on reallocation of surplus collection for state budget to the city to use in social welfare projects. In the meetings of City’s People Council, the delegates all pay attention to the local collection for state budget given the fact that it reflects the port’s import and export volume, port capacity and is an indicator for the city’s credit ratings on aspects; meanwhile presents the involvement of custom activities in the city’s development.