Government pushes for reforms to improve business environment; Resolution 19/2015

HA NOI (VNS) — The Prime Minister will focus on improving the business environment and strengthening the economy’s ability to compete in 2015 and 2016.

Key areas of a Government resolution released yesterday include pushing for reforms to reduce time-consuming and wasteful administrative procedures, enhancing governmental offices’ transparency and accountability, and adopting regulations that are in accordance with international rules. Read more

Recommendations on Draft Decree re Customs Law

Customs 450x-Dialogue meeting on Sep 25 with Foreign Business Associations to invite comments for officials from the Vietnam General Department of Customs re the draft Decree & Circular guiding Customs Law 2014, which will enter into effect on Jan 1, 2015.  Read more

World Customs Organization makes changes to HS classifications

Pile of red ring bindersInternational customs officials at the World Customs Organization (WCO) have agreed on 234 changes to the global system that categorizes products that are imported and exported around the world, and countries are beginning their individual processes to incorporate those changes into their own domestic product category systems. Countries have until January 1, 2017, to incorporate the changes, but much work lies ahead. Read more

APEC moving forward on TFA as global pact stalls

APEC logoBeijing, China, 18 August 2014 – APEC economies are pressing ahead with efforts to accelerate trade and economic growth through the elimination of costly delays to the flow of goods as they cross international borders, undeterred by the unexpected challenge to implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation now facing members of the World Trade Organization. Read more

WTO: Members unable to bridge the gap on trade facilitation

Roberto Azevêdo, WTOWTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reported to WTO ambassadors on 31 July 2014 that despite intensive consultations, “we have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge the gap” on the adoption of the protocol on the Trade Facilitation Agreement. He urged members “to reflect long and hard on the ramifications of this setback”. Read more

Textile Enforcement and Security Act

National Council of Textile OrganizationsThe U.S. textile industry depends on strong customs enforcement for its livelihood. The industry is the third largest exporter of textile products in the world with over $22 billion in exports in 2013.  A majority of the industry’s production is exported. Three quarters of the industry’s exports go to trade preference countries, notably CAFTA, NAFTA and the ANDEAN regions. Due to the high-risk nature and the prevalence of fraud, CBP designated the textile industry as a Priority Trade Issue — yet the industry continues to witness serious fraud. For example, the U.S. government has reported that nearly twice as much “U.S.” combed cotton yarn was exported from the United States to the CAFTA region than was actually produced. Additionally, there have been a number of “phony companies” advertising the sale of U.S. yarns and fabric for use in the DR-CFTA region via the internet, yet Customs and Border Patrol(CBP) has been unable to effectively curtail the illegal activities of these “companies.” Finally, recent information from Mexico shows that up to a third of denim jeans which claim NAFTA origin may be made of Chinese fabric.

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Customs glitches and other problems cause huge backlogs

Customs Delays at Cat Lai Portat Cat Lai Port. The implementation of VNACCS (Vietnam’s Automated Cargo and Customs Clearance System) has encountered glitches as documents guiding it are complicated and confusing.

Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC government, agreed with Hung, saying that she also had trouble understanding those documents though she is knowledgeable in the area. Read more

Trade Facilitation Support Program Launched by WB, EU, USA, Canada, Australia, Norway

WB Trade Facilitation Support Program

It will help countries reform their trade facilitation practices in a manner consistent with the main components of the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), signed in Bali, December 2013.

The Program will focus on the effective implementation of trade facilitation reforms in developing countries to enhance private sector competitiveness, thus leading to increased trade, investments and job creation. Read more

Prime Minister urges customs improvements

TTg lam viec voi tong cuc HQ 3Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the customs department to upgrade import-export procedures to regional standards, saying the extra time taken in Viet Nam is “unacceptable.”

In a Wednesday meeting, he told leading officials of the Viet Nam General Department of Customs that they should simplify processes and procedures related to export and import and cut the time involved.

He also said that Viet Nam Customs should improve its management capacity and reform in ways that made it more effective, transparent and in line with international norms. Read more

WTO Chief applauds WCO for Trade Facilitation Agreement

imagesWTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told the World Customs Organization (WCO) Council on 27 June 2014 that the WCO and the WTO are “natural partners” in efforts to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement. He thanked the WCO for its support, including the establishment of the Trade Facilitation Working Group and the launching of the Mercator programme.

Customs administrations have long recognized the need to balance enforcement and facilitation — and to do so in a predictable, streamlined way. And, as the volume of global trade increased, the need to operate efficiently and effectively has grown. 

Indeed, the Revised Kyoto Convention, as well as other WCO tools and instruments, are the basis of many provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Read more