Vietnam Customs implements the Trade Facilitation Agreement according to the roadmap


VCN- That is the assessment given by delegates and experts at the Conference on the Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO FTA) of Vietnam on April 7 in Hanoi.

vietnam customs implements the trade facilitation agreement according to the roadmap
The conference

Speaking at the conference, Nguyen Thi Viet Nga, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Department – General Department of Customs, said trade facilitation plays an increasingly important role, directly affecting countries in all aspects, especially in the external economic sector in general and import-export activities. In response to the requirements of world trade practice, the Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO FTA) was born with the aim of eliminating traditional barriers, non-tariff barriers to trade, simplifying and harmonising trade-related procedures, the most important of which is the import-export and border management procedures applied and implemented by member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on schedule.

The WTO FTA is the first agreement in the 21-year history of the WTO, an important milestone for the global trading system and an encouragement for a process of trade liberalisation, which is struggling with many difficulties due to trade protectionism.

Being the unit assigned by the Prime Minister to act as a focal point in coordinating with ministries and branches in the implementation of the WTO TFA, as well as being a standing agency of the National Steering Committee on the national one-door mechanism, the ASEAN single-window mechanism and trade facilitation, recently, the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs) has worked with relevant ministries and agencies to implement the provisions of the WTO FTA follows the extremely committed roadmap with the WTO, Nguyen Thi Viet Nga said.

According to Nga, to evaluate the implementation of the WTO FTA, in recent years, within the framework of the TFP project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the General Department of Customs has worked with project experts, carried out the assessment of the level of implementation of the commitments of the WTO FTA.

The conference was held to report results and consult with ministries and agencies to finalise the assessment and identify a new implementation roadmap of Vietnam. This is one of the activities of interest of the TFP project supported by USAID for reforming, standardising, harmonising and simplifying administrative procedures in the import and export sector in accordance with national standards to implement the WTO FTA.

The conference is also an opportunity for the focal point,relevant ministries and agencies to exchange and evaluate the results of the implementation of the WTO FTA in recent years and to identify challenges and real opportunities of the WTO FTA Agreement to review a suitable new roadmap to meet the practical needs of commercial activities and ensure full compliance with the commitments of the agreement, Nga said.

Assessing the implementation of the WTO FTA, Alistair Gall, Senior Trade Facilitation Specialist of the USAID-Sponsored Trade Facilitation Project, said since the WTO FTA Agreement was ratified in December 2015, Vietnam has implemented many innovative contents to streamline import and export procedures.

“Vietnam is on the right track to ensure full compliance with the WTO TFA. Currently, Vietnam has fully complied with 25 articles and sub-clauses of this agreement and is likely to fully comply with clause 12, but it will need further assessment. However, this means that Vietnam has fulfilled 74% of its commitments under the WTO TFA, so there are only 13 sub-clauses or clauses that need further implementation or renewal. One of the most important terms that Vietnam has not fully complied with is Clause 7.4 on risk management,” said Mr. Alistair Gall.

Regarding the implementation of the agreement, Gall also said that the General Department of Customs has made great progress in recent years with the application of risk-based control measures. However, we will reap many other benefits with the plan to expand the scope of integrated risk management to specialised inspection procedures and other related border controls. This will contribute to full compliance in Vietnam.

By Nu Bui/ Kieu Oanh

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