Vietnam to Introduce Digital Signatures for Customs Declarations

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Nov. 15 – Enterprises will soon have to use digital signatures on customs declaration forms as the Vietnam General Department of Customs (VGDC) prepares to deploy a new customs system. The new system will benefit businesses undertaking clearance procedures for imported and exported goods.

Through the use of a centralized processing system, the new Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System (VNACCS) will take full effect on April 1, 2014, replacing the current e-customs system and facilitating customs declaration on all transactions as of November 2013.

According to Mr. Nguyen Manh Tung, the Customs Department director of IT and Statistics, customs clearance for green lane goods, for instance, will take a maximum of 15 seconds under the VNACCS.

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Using digital signatures will provide companies with benefits beyond saving time and cutting costs, namely by securing information confidentiality. Creating a unique electronic record on the document, the digital signature system allows the sender and recipient to ensure no changes were made to the document over time.

Once registered, an enterprise receives a token, which gives one person authorization throughout the declaration procedure. Both the authorizing company and the recipient require their personal tokens to open the declaration.

“Digital signatures ensure convenient and quick transaction process to meet high safety and accuracy requirements,” says Tung. “There is no doubt that high levels of confidentiality are guaranteed.”

Service providers, licensed by the Ministry of Information and Communications, offer many solutions to protect the digital signature, with fees varying among the eight digital service providers. Currently providers charge about US$72, which includes the user authentication token.

Companies will have five months to register and authenticate their digital signature, a procedure that only takes a few minutes through the Vietnam Customs website. To address any concerns and provide support for enterprises, the Customs Department offers a digital signature deployment support team.

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