E-government still far away

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One of the targets set in government Resolution 36a was to have Vietnam among the top three countries in ASEAN in OSI (Online Service Index) and EGDI (E-government development index) by the end of 2017. 

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There are many articles subject to inspection

According to Le Duy Hiep, CEO of Transimex, having imports/exports undergo specialized inspection by ministries is hard work for enterprises. There are too many articles subject to inspection, requiring more time to get customs clearance.

Using e-customs declarations is an important step to implement the government’s resolutions. 

However, as Pham Thanh Binh, head of the Post-customs clearance Inspection Agency under GDC (General Department of Customs) said, “the improvement remains insignificant”.

Binh said the GDC’s regulation on customs declaration papers is causing problems for enterprises which import many kinds of products at once, mostly importers of automobile and electronic parts. They now have to use many declaration papers instead of one as previously applied.

MOIT now issues C/O in accordance with COD forms, but still requires enterprises to submit a letter of commitment.

MOIT (Ministry of Industry and Trade) now issues C/O in accordance with COD forms, but still requires enterprises to submit a letter of commitment. As such, while enterprises have to have one type of paper at customs agency, they have to submit another more type of paper to MOIT. 

As a result, enterprises would rather submit hard copies to avoid troubles. Therefore, e-C/Os don’t have much significance.

Since 2014, when Resolution 19 was released, MARD (Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development) has issued more than 10 circulars. But the legal documents still cannot satisfy the requirement stipulated in the resolution that administrative procedures must be simplified to help enterprises save time.

According to Binh, a ‘lack of transparency’ exists as agencies collect examination fees in different ways. 

A wood chip exporter in the central region complained that it paid VND43 million in fees for 40,000 tons of exports.

One exporter said the inconvenience in e-customs declarations was eased with e-customs, but ‘problems have arisen in other stages’. 

Enterprises don’t have to prepare many papers for declarations, but customs supervision must be implemented in paper form.

To date, the ‘ASEAN 4’ goal has been unattainable. Vietnam’s position has been upgraded by 10 notches compared to 2014, but it still ranks 89th in terms of e-government, and sixth in ASEAN. 

Regarding the global competitiveness index, Vietnam ranks sixth in ASEAN.

A research project by CIEM (Central Institute of Economic Management) found that if 30 percent of 100,000 goods are exempted from specialized examination, the national economy would be able to save 8.6 million working days and VND4.3 trillion.

Kim Chi

Source: VietNamNet

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