ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnamese customs goes online
Electronic customs will be used in the customs' sub-departments since the beginning of next month.
With electronic customs, all goods will be checked by the customs office and customers will be informed via the internet.
Under the new system, customers no longer need to bring their application forms to customs' sub-departments and wait for approval.
For customers, they only need a printed and sealed application form, then go to the customs sub-department and receive their goods.
"Seventy percent of electronic customs will be done automatically," said Tran Ma Thong,deputy head of the municipal customs department.
Customs officials will check procedures and exchange information with colleagues through a computerised network.
With the new system, goods will be classified easily, and customs officials will know whether they need to have goods checked.
This new method will restrict contact between customs offices and customers to limit bribery as well as save expenses and time for companies.
The department has already upgraded its technical infrastructure, including servers, lease lines and software.
In case of a breakdown, the customs offices will use manual methods and add a database to the computer network later.
The HCM City's Tan Cang customs sub-department and Hai Phong Customs Department began using electronic customs on a pilot basis in October 2005. Four-hundred HCM City companies have joined the project.
The Tan Cang customs sub-department accepts an average of 150 electronic customs application forms each day.
Since early this year, the sub-department has approved 3,200 application forms with turnover of US$3.7 billion, and contributed VND6 trillion ($310 million) to the state budget.
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