USAID Assists Vietnam in Streamlining Import-Export Procedures to Facilitate International Trade

Friday, January 3, 2020

Specialized inspection is a customs clearance procedure in Vietnam implemented by line ministries on import and export of goods. Currently, overlapping specialized inspections by different ministries consume 70% of clearance time, causing unnecessary delay in customs clearance. On December 25-27, the USAID Trade Facilitation Program supported the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) to organize a workshop for a focus working group in charge of a draft scheme to reform specialized inspections. 49 participants (23 female and 26 male) from various GDVC departments, local customs departments, and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), one of Vietnam’s leading economic think-tanks, discussed the draft scheme, in which one key reform is that customs agencies will have more authority to conduct specialized inspections on behalf of other ministries. With the proposed reform, customs will be designated as the main agency for controls and inspections at the border, which may help reduce the clearance time. With the input from the workshop, GDVC will complete the draft scheme and invite public comments and recommendations prior to submitting it to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Office of the Government by March 2020. So what? Reform of specialized inspections has been high on the agenda of the Government of Vietnam for years, given its importance for streamlining import-export procedures, reducing clearance times and improving the business environment. With the current momentum for reform, the proposed scheme is expected to be a driving force to further simplify specialized inspection procedures, thereby facilitating international trade for businesses in Vietnam and improving Vietnam’s competitiveness.

Last updated: September 11, 2020

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