Meeting with the general customs bureau on improving customs clearance procedures (09/7/2009)


On 23 June 2009, at the Great Meeting Room of Saigon Newport, the General Customs Bureau had presided the meeting on finding solutions for hi-lighted clearance issues.

On 23 June 2009, at the Great Meeting Room of Saigon Newport, the General Customs Bureau had presided the meeting on finding solutions for hi-lighted clearance issues. Attending the meeting was Mr. Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy Director of the General Customs Bureau, Supervision Control Office, Legal Affairs Office and Anti-smuggling Department of the General Customs Bureau and representatives from other customs departments of HCMC, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Dong Nai Province, Binh Duong Province, HCMC Region I Customs Office, Phu My Customs Office, Legal Affairs Office and Taxation Policy Office of the Ministry of Finance, shipping lines, forwarders and transportation companies. On SNP’s side, Mr. Nguyen Dang Nghiem, the General Director and representatives from many functional departments also attended the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Nghiem had reviewed terminal business performance of SNP for the first half of 2009 and hi-lighted several unsolved clearance issues between shipping lines, customs and SNP after Tan Cang – Cai Mep Container Terminal was functional. In the context of global economic recession and downturn of Vietnam’s trading activities, the total container throughput at all terminals in HCMC area for the first 05 months of 2009 reached 1,131,783 TEUs, decreasing at 7.81% as compared with the same period of the previous year. While container volume at most terminals witnessed a dramatical drop, SNP still grows at 4.13% for the said period. In 2008, if Tan Cang – Cat Lai Terminal had handled 66.61% of container volume in HCMC area, the market share had catapulted to 79% for the first 05 months in 2009. The General Director, however, stated that the new Decree from the Government, Circular from the Ministry of Finance and Decision from the General Customs Bureau had laid an influential impact on the country’s trading activities in general and on the company terminal business in particular.
In his speech, Mr. Cuong emphasized the revised policies on modernizing and simplifying clearance procedures to provide preferential conditions for enterprises and at the same time ensuring supervision control activities. In this connection, modernization will rest on 04 major issues: legal document standardization, customs management renovation, enhancement of supervision and human resource management and utilization of advanced information technology to facilitate data transmission. To add on, Mr. Au Anh Tuan – Deputy Manager of Supervision Control Office of the General Customs Bureau introduced alternative solutions to clearance procedures related to transshipment cargoes, transit cargoes and Free Port Zone.

Dynamic was the discussion session between representatives from shipping lines, forwarders and enterprises. Although 40 questions in relation to clearance procedures had been put forward and answered in advance, attendants still addressed many issues to be solved by the Customs Office and relevant parties. These included freight transport procedures between ICDs and terminals in HCMC to Tan Cang – Cai Mep Container Terminal and SP-PSA, manifest adjustments, obstacles in relation to the Decree No. 154/2005/ND-CP, Circular No. 79/2009/TT-BTC, supervision activities at bonded warehouses, CFS warehouses and regulations for Free Port Zone. Customs Representatives from HCMC, Binh Duong Province, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province and Dong Nai Province also suggested several solutions to the General Customs Bureau and the Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Finance.

Mr. Cuong and relevant parties appreciated all comments and proposals and promised to report to higher governmental department to issue explicit normative acts to guide the implementation of clearance procedures with regard to freight transport between terminals and between borders as well as other adjustments to facilitate clearance processes. Mr. Cuong further suggested that local General Customs Offices should meet and have open talks more frequently in order to propose more effective solutions to the General Customs Bureau and the Ministry of Finance to ease customs procedures.

The meeting ended in an effective, enjoyable and friendly manner. Customers and other representatives expressed their satisfaction and gratitude to the Board of Organization who had created favorable conditions for them to directly communicate with the General Customs Bureau.