E-Customs Clearance Process Still Limited

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HO CHI MINH, Jul. 14 – Despite being offered on a trial basis in Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong since 2005, the e-customs clearance service is still bogged by inefficiencies and delays.

City customs departments are ill-equipped to handle the surge of applications because of insufficient bandwidth capacity sometimes aggravated by the country’s slow internet connection.

Local businesses using the service told Thanh Nien News that service has not cut processing time but even added to their workload, moreover, the clearance process still requires paperwork to be filled out.

“When dealing with e-customs clearance, we have to assign two staff for the purpose. One makes the declarations on paper and goes to the customs department to hand it in. The other declares the necessary information online and calls the former once the process is completed so that customs staff can check the paper against the online data,”a director of a logistics firm speaking on the condition of anonymity told Than Nien News.

Since June 8, local customs department started offering declaration forms for for all import and export products online. The same process will soon be offered in five customs departments including Danang, Hanoi, Lang Son, Dong Nai and Binh Duong by this year.

Only companies that have applied to file customs clearance online will be able to use the service. Nguyen Anh Tuan of the reform division at the HCMC Customs Department, said that 82.5 percent of enterprises processed e-customs clearance in the past month.