Enhancing screening capacity for customs control

VCN- The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) issued Decision No.3272/QD-TCHQ regulating inspection for import and export goods by container scanners. The Risk Management Department has mobilised resources and taken measures to deploy the selection and screening of goods at sea and land routes. The Director of Risk Management Department Nguyen Nhat Kha answered Customs Newspaper about this issue.

screening, customs control, Risk Management Department, customs Director of Risk Management Department Nguyen Nhat Kha

Could you tell us about the use of container scanners in inspection for export and export goods by the Customs sector recently?

Following the direction of the GDVC’s leaders, the Risk Management Department has closely worked with municipal and provincial customs departments to promote the ise of container scanners in customs control, especially focusing on strengthening the screening of goods during loading and unloading at ports, warehouses, yards and border gates areas to assess the legal compliance of enterprises; has prevented and detected customs offences in a timely fashion, reduced customs clearance time, facilitated compliant enterprises, amid the complex and unpredictable developments of Covid-19.

The Customs force at all levels has selected containers for screening based on law compliance level and risk classification level and other factors in import and export activities as well as regularly monitoring and supervising the screening and inspection. In fact, cases of container screening show suspicious signs. The lists of screening containers are posted daily on the website of the General Department of Vietnam Customs for businesses to look up.

As the role of coordinating, guiding and directing selection and inspection of goods by scanners, the Risk Management Department has worked with relevant units to establish a focal group specialising in screening at 35 local customs departments as well as set up a mechanism for providing and exchanging information to perform this work in a unified and smooth manner in the entire sector.

At the same time, it has received applications for screening from relevant units and worked with customs branches and the Customs Enforcement Team to regulate screening goods and facilitate firms in screening via scanners installed at seaports or check points outside border gates in accordance with transport routes, conditions and situations of businesses.

The Risk Management Department assigns working groups to work with units to urge, coordinate and grasp the performance of this work in localities and promptly instruct and handling arising problems.

Recently, Customs has achieved positive results in the inspection of exported and imported goods and detected many violations. How do you evaluate this?

The screening and selection activities have been put in order and initially improved the capacity and efficiency of screening.

Compared to the same period in 2020, the total number of containers screened in the first quarter 2021 was 1.8 times higher (480 containers per day on average); the number of infringing container was 1.3 times higher. Customs detected that many importers did not declare or falsely declared goods category, or imported banned goods and many consumer containers were gather with recipient's address and name in Vietnam and many declarations were amended and supplemented, leading to an increase in taxable value and tax payable.

The information exchange has been performed well. Operational units under the Risk Management Department have regularly discussed with the Risk Management Division, the Customs Enforcement Team and the customs branches where the declaration is registered and where goods are stored to grasp information, exchange problems and provide handling solutions, contributing to the effective operation of screening system.

To improve the screening efficiency and capacity, what should the Customs perform?

The Customs sector needs to focus on implementing the following solutions:

Firstly, for the Risk Management Department, provincial and municipal customs departments that have installed scanners, the Customs Control and Supervision Department and other units should continue to strengthen selection and inspection of goods in accordance with regulations; regularly monitor and supervise screening and conduct physical inspection for suspicious cases detected via scanner. The Risk Management Department should work with the on-duty unit under the GDVC and Customs Inspectorate to handle and detect customs offences.

Second, the Risk Management Department and municipal and provincial customs departments with installed scanners should strengthen screening for imported goods during loading and unloading from incoming entry means of transport at ports and imported goods stored at seaports within 60 days of the arrival date of goods that have not gone through customs clearance at the port.

Third, the Customs Departments of provinces and cities that have installed scanners need to direct subordinate units to perform inspection of goods by container scanners (according to Decision 3272/ QD-TCHQ) in line with the characteristics of each unit; solve problems arising during the screening process; coordinate with the Risk Management Department and the Customs Control and Supervision Department to facilitate customs clearance of fims, avoiding congestion of container during screening.

Fourth, the Risk Management Department, Customs Control and Supervision Department and Customs IT and Statistics Department should complete the requirements related to the inspection and selection through screening in the scheme on the re-designing of the Customs system.

By Quang Hung/Ngoc Loan

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