Expectations of revolution in reforming specialised inspection procedures – Part 4 Enterprises expect new model

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expectations of revolution in reforming specialised inspection procedures part 4 enterprises expect new model
The meeting on completing draft Decree stipulating State inspection on quality and food safety for imported goods chaired by Ministry of Finance on May 12, 2021. Photo: N.Linh

Create a transparent and favourable business environment

According to a representative of Customs Control and Supervision Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs), the overall goal in the scheme on reforming the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection approved by the Prime Minister is to facilitate procedures, reducing time and compliance costs for firms; protect the legitimate rights and interests of business organisations, individuals and consumers, and improve the efficiency of quality management and food safety inspection for import goods.

To concretise those goals is towards comprehensive reform of regulations on quality inspection and food safety inspection for import goods in the direction of promoting information technology application, applying risk management and simplifying quality inspection and food safety inspection procedures for import goods. Reducing contact between firms and agencies, the results of the organisation will be transferred to the Customs authority to carry out specialised inspection and food safety inspection procedures for import goods at the same time carrying out customs procedures, thereby cutting costs and cargo clearance time for imported goods.

Besides that, creating an environment and necessary conditions for the socialisation of quality inspection and food safety inspection activities; reasonable protection of domestic production, environmental protection, public interests and health. Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of quality inspection and food safety inspection for imported goods to ensure strict and legal management of imported goods, contributing to ensuring safety of imported goods, contributing to ensuring national security and economic safety.

In particular, it is necessary to reorganise the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection for import goods towards simplicity, efficiency, and assigning responsibilities in a reasonable, clear and transparent manner among parties involved (ministries managing sectors, fields, customs authorities and designated conformity assessment organisations).

The economic impact assessment, according to the USAID-funded Trade Facilitation Project, it showed the percentage of declarations of quality inspection and food safety inspection in a year could reduce under the new model compared with the current model about 54.4% (not accounting for the reduction in the number of inspection shipments due to the proposal to increase the subjects exempt from inspection). The total number of days of quality inspection and food safety inspection when applying the new model compared to the current model in a year is 2,484,038 days. Cost savings for businesses in one year thanks to the number of days cut exceed VND 881 billion (approximately $37.8 million).

Top priority of businesses is fast cargo clearance

According to a representative of DHL Express, regulating the responsibilities of the Customs authority in specialised inspection wa a big step, which would be very convenient for businesses. In fact, businesses have a centralised inspection location, carry out procedures on behalf of the owner of the goods and share a location with the Customs authority, so it would be very convenient for comparison and specialised inspection.

Mai Xuan Chu, representative of Tien Dung Vietnam Trade Investment Co., Ltd. regularly carries out import procedures for aquatic products and dietary supplements at Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch and stated that, if the application of risk management principles in quality inspection and food safety inspection for import goods under the new model, it would be much more convenient for firms when the system automatically decided inspection method, method conversion and case of exemption. The Customs authority should carry out a random inspection of no more than 5% to assess legal compliance of enterprises importing goods subject to inspection and food safety inspection.

Nguyen Van Hung, Yusen Logistics Co., Ltd. said that, from the point of view of the customs declarant who is an enterprise, this new regulation, if promulgated, would help remove many obstacles and slash compliance costs. For example, goods were imported into Vietnam but only for the internal operations of enterprises such as: sample goods, goods for repair/recycling, raw materials for production or replacement parts for the machines that were operating at the enterprise. Exemption from quality inspection and food safety inspection is appropriate because these goods are not consumed in the domestic market or if later liquidated by enterprises to the inland, they must comply with regulations such as goods being circulated on the market. Other forces such as Market Management and specialised inspectors did not need to control from the import stage.

Another advantage when implementing the new model is that goods that meet international standards such as CE, KC, FDA, etc are exempted from inspection. These are all high standards set by developed countries and are widely recognised in the market. In these countries, State management agencies uphold the role of enterprises in voluntary compliance rather than checking each shipment, if post-inspection stage detects violations of the quality management policy, they will be severely punished. On the other hand, manufacturers that meet this standard all disclose information so that State regulators and consumers can verify it easily. Therefore, it is not necessary to check again at the stage of importing from abroad into Vietnam.

A representative of Duc Phat Trading, Transport and Service Co., Ltd said the top priority of enterprises is to quickly cargo clearance to reduce costs and time for businesses. Therefore, the change in the model of quality inspection and food safety inspection would create a new direction and businesses expect to create a new breakthrough.

The initial results after more than a year of efforts to implement the tasks assigned by the Government have been recognised. However, for the officials who perform professional task of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the task will continue and require more intense concentration of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and other ministries, sectors and units to quickly put the policy into practice with specific regulations, processes and procedures, bringing benefits to businesses; protecting the legitimate rights and interests of business organisations and individuals and consumers and improving the efficiency of quality management and food safety inspection for imported goods.

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