Mr. Michael A. Trueblood, Director, Office of Economic Growth and Governance, USAID talked with BizLIVE on the occasion of the launch of the 2015 Survey Report on Business Satisfaction of Customs Administrative Procedures in Hanoi on Thursday.
Why has USAID collaborated with General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to survey businesses on satisfaction with Vietnam’s customs procedures?
Mr. Michael A. Trueblood: One objective of the USAID Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) program is to increase transparency in Vietnam’s law and regulation making process to benefit businesses and government agencies. USAID is working with GDVC and VCCI to engage the business community throughout the process of laws and policy making, and the implementation of customs regulations.
The 2015 Customs Satisfaction Survey demonstrates Vietnam Customs’ ongoing commitment to meaningful reform. The survey seeks private sector feedback on Vietnam’s customs performance to identify areas for improvement and provide benchmarks for performance management. USAID is committed to supporting Customs in this ongoing process of administrative reform, which will help bolster Vietnam’s commitments under the WTO TFA.
How will this survey contribute towards reform of administrative procedures in customs and support Vietnam to meet its international commitments?
In implementation of the WTO, FTAs and preparation for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), the results of the survey will be especially important for the development of evidence-based recommendations for customs authorities to make policies and regulations more transparent and practical.
Additionally, the Ministry of Finance and GDVC are working to simplify customs procedures by revising numerous laws and regulations, as well as strengthening implementation of local customs authorities. Throughout this process GDVC has engaged businesses and the public. This consultation is building trust and cooperation with the private sector and fostering an open attitude towards the change process.
There is still work to be done in strengthening coordination among customs and related ministries to further simplify administrative procedures for export and import management. Ministries can improve coordination with customs to simplify specialized management of export and import goods, which account for 72% of export and import time.
How will GDVC and USAID continue to build on this momentum to strengthen customs policies and simplify customs procedures to better serve businesses?
Findings from this survey will enable GDVC to identify measures to promote reforms and facilitate import and export activities of businesses, in line with Vietnam’s commitments to international standards such as WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and TPP requirements.
Specifically, the report will enable GDVC to assess progress in the implementation of the Customs Modernization Plan 2011-2015, and support monitoring tools for GDVC to improve the quality and efficiency of 34 local customs departments nationwide to further facilitate trade for businesses.
This includes institutionalizing Customs-to-Business consultation, simplifying import, export and transit regulations and procedures, reviewing the procedures and legal framework for specialized management of import and export goods, and expansion of the benefits of the privileged trader scheme through the introduction of compliance measurement techniques. Customs will need to cooperate with different ministries in this effort to simplify import-export procedures for businesses.
USAID is partnering with the U.S. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) to support the further development of risk management and mutual recognition agreements with the U.S. and Vietnam’s other major trading partners in order to bring benefit to importers and exporters and further enhance economic growth.
Thank you very much!