VN saves billions of US dollar thanks to improved customs clearance procedure


Vietnam Customs yesterday announced that because of time reduction in customs clearance procedures for import and export goods, Vietnamese businesses have been able to save over US$3.28 billion in both direct and indirect costs. This is the result of the survey ‘Cross-border Commercial Transaction Index 2020’ for trading environment improvement, national competitiveness increase.

VN saves billions of US dollar thanks to improved customs clearance procedure ảnh 1 The customs force in Ho Chi Minh City is checking imports and exports while observing Covid-19 prevention and control measures. (Photo:

In order to rise the Cross-border Commercial Transaction Index by 10-15 positions in 2021, the Finance Ministry formed an interdisciplinary task force, consisting of members from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Governmental Office, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Transport Ministry, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), and Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA).

This task force is in charge of surveying and implementing practical solutions to decrease time and cost for goods import, export so as to provide more convenience for businesses and improve the ranking of the Cross-border Commercial Transaction Index.

Results from the 2020 survey carried out by this task force reveal that the total average time and cost to complete cross-border trade procedures for exports in 2020 was 38.4 hours and $338 (a drop of 57.38 hours and $81.72 compared to 2019), respectively.

The total average time and cost to complete cross-border trade procedures for imports in 2020 was 54.8 hours and $313.17 (a drop of 48.88 hours and $ 256.41 compared to 2019), correspondingly.

One of the most obvious reasons for this time and cost saving is the digitalization of specialized inspection documents sent via the national one-stop system, the application of electronic certificates of origin (C/O), and the clear regulations on submission of electronic documents in customs procedures.

“94 percent of import businesses and 98 percent of export ones agreed that the use of e-documents helps to save time and cost in customs procedures in that document preparation, printing, and delivery have been greatly reduced. Therefore, work is sped up and money is saved,” said Vietnam Customs.

The introduction of Vietnam Automated System for Seaport Customs Management (VASSCM) to decrease the time for procedures to deliver and receive goods at ports is also a key factor in saving time and cost for imports, exports. Statistics show that the total numbers of import and export declaration forms in Vietnam last year were 6.75 million and 6.98 million, respectively.

In short, thanks to time reduction in customs procedures, in 2020, import and export businesses in Vietnam saved totally 730.4 million hours, equivalent to the indirect cost of $981 million and direct cost of $2,300 million compared to 2019.

By Van Phuc – Translated by Huong Vuong

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