Customs legal assistance in a variety of forms for enterprises
Custom officials in Ho Chi Minh City guides the procedures for enterprises. Photo: Le Hoa

Focusing on communication and propaganda

Customs officials have regularly discussed and disseminated policies and mechanisms in various forms to quickly remove difficulties and obstacles and disseminate the law to enterprises. The General Department of Customs (GDoC) maintains the transaction office and continues to receive citizens. Problem-solving teams are maintained at provincial and city customs departments, customs sub-departments, and equivalent units to receive and coordinate with relevant units and officials in promptly resolving requests for providing customs information of customs declarants, taxpayers, and enterprises. Administrative procedures must be publicized and posted in accordance with regulations at the location of customs procedures.

The department receives and resolves requests for assistance and provision of customs law information from customs declarants, taxpayers, and enterprises at the customs office, as well as receives, guides, and answers phone calls from customs declarants and taxpayers. The officer directly receiving the call must follow the procedure established by the GDoC, keep a record book containing all pertinent information about the call, and put through to competent units and officials for guidance.

In addition, the Customs sector focuses on propagating, supporting, and providing information to customs declarants, taxpayers, and enterprises through organizing conferences, seminars, and training. Since the start of the year, the GDoC, as well as provincial and city customs departments, have developed plans to organize conferences, seminars, and training for customs declarants, taxpayers, and businesses, and to put those plans into action to ensure progress and quality.

Professional units of the GDoC have regularly organized conferences, seminars, and professional training on each topic such as import and export tax, customs procedures, risk management, post-clearance inspection, and handling of administrative violations for local customs units and the business community involved in import and export activities. In parallel with the dissemination and training of rapporteurs, the units create the best possible conditions for customs declarants, taxpayers, and business representatives to speak and vote on issues that need to be guided and answered by customs authorities at conferences and seminars.

Being a true collaborator

Customs authorities at both the provincial and sub-departmental levels have actively promoted business dialogue and support activities in the area. Over the last eight months, the customs office has organized nearly 80 dialogues to directly answer enterprises' questions and recommendations. This activity is highly appreciated by the business community.

Through dialogue conferences, the customs authorities have not only assisted the business community in increasing awareness of and capacity to enforce tax and customs law, but they have also directly and promptly resolved challenges and issues faced by businesses during the course of their operations. As a consequence, customs relations and enterprises have truly been cooperative partners in the implementation and observance of the law.

In recent years, dialogue conferences with businesses have frequently been held by customs offices in-person, online, or in-person in combination with online and published and streamed on the mass media, contributing to improving the effectiveness of this work, solving and removing difficulties, and being highly appreciated by the business community.

According to Nguyen Bac Hai, Deputy Director of the Customs Supervision and Management Department (under GDoC), the organization of the dialogue conference is a specific and practical activity to implement industry policy and customs authorities' commitment to always accompany businesses, as well as to improve understanding and consensus between customs authorities and the business community.

Recently, in response to Vietnam Law Day, Finance Law Day, and Customs Law Day in 2023, with the theme of accompanying enterprises, the GDoC has asked units throughout the industry to promote propaganda and dissemination of legal documents that have a significant impact on society at an early stage of development; newly issued documents.

Simultaneously, it is necessary to provide legal information and dialogues to respond to policies, remove difficulties and problems in the practice of applying legal documents for enterprises, taxpayers, and customs declarants; promote activities to respond to and solve problems of enterprises in the implementation of legal documents and administrative procedures, particularly new problems that arise; and promptly remove difficulties and overcome after the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, it is crucial to promote the implementation of solutions to reform and simplify administrative procedures such as controlling administrative procedures, ensuring that new administrative procedures are not issued when they are not required. Moreover, it is fundamental to continue review and propose plans to reduce and simplify administrative procedures in all areas of Customs sector management, especially focus on research to reduce the time, records, papers, and costs of implementing administrative procedures directly related to enterprises and individuals.