The number of types of goods subjected to customs inspection will be reduced and regulations be simplified. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

Customs inspections paperwork will be reduced, while procedures and services will be improved to aid firms’ operational activities, experts said during a November 9 conference in HCM City.

There have been changes to reduce the number of types of goods that need to be inspected, and to invest in high quality facilities and a skilled workforce for better inspections and other procedure changes to aid firms.

Dang Vu Thanh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Logistics Business Association, said that despite ongoing changes to improve customs and inspections, inspections were too frequent and too lengthy.

"Indiscriminate inspections of imported goods have wasted resources and goes against Viet Nam’s goal of promoting global trade."

He said inspections of imported goods should take into account the firms’ reputation to prioritise businesses that have adhered to regulations. Customs officials should consider the types of goods involved and identify risk potentials. More criteria for exemptions should also be considered.

Nguyen Quoc Thanh, deputy head of General Department of Customs’ IT and Custom Statistics Department, said the department would “reduce paperwork and applications in favour of online channels like websites and mobile apps to save cost.” This tactic would gather user feedback to improve online services and raise awareness of the benefits of online channels.

Customs staff training and acquiring hi-tech equipment for inspections will also improve the situation.

The Ministry of Finance will work with relevant departments and look into further reducing the list of goods that are subject to inspection to only include products that pose environmental or economic threats. The department will also remove unnecessary steps from the customs process. — VNS

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