31 percent of firms pay as bribery for customs procedure: survey

The ratio of businesses having to pay “under table” fees when doing customs procedure was 31 percent, according to a survey on administrative reform last year by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Businesses do customs declaration at HCMC’s Customs Division Zone 1-Cat Lai (Photo: SGGP)
Businesses do customs declaration at HCMC’s Customs Division Zone 1-Cat Lai (Photo: SGGP)

The survey’s results were announced yesterday by VCCI in coordination with Vietnam Customs.

According to the survey, the ratio was higher than that in 2015 when it reached 28 percent.

The customs industry has implemented the Government’s Resolution 19 on business environment and national competitiveness improvement and yielded some positive results in tax payment time reduction, specialized inspection reduction and administrative procedure simplification.

However, the survey also points out concerning problems including the high ratio of businesses having to pay unofficial costs.

In case not paying the under-table fee, 17 percent of respondents said that they would see their procedures-doing time lengthened.

Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department of VCCI, said that unofficial fee was a congestion for most businesses in doing export import procedures.

Another problem much mentioned recently is the high number of specialized inspections. The cultural field has been at the top list of inspections accounting for 59 percent, followed by health with 40 percent, animal quarantine 36 percent, food safety and hygiene 29 percent and quality examination 25 percent.

Up to 81 percent businesses in the survey said that stipulated inspection time was long. 72 percent said that information sharing among authorized agencies was not good, taking their time to wait.

Mr. Kim Long Bien from the Reform and Modernization Division of Vietnam Customs said that the customs industry has been aware of the issue through businesses’ opinions and continued reform. The industry will propose the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister to tackle problems in specialized inspections.

The survey was attended by 2,500 export import companies, chosen at random nationwide with 1,035 sending feedbacks.

Of these, 60.2 percent are private firms, 31.4 percent foreign direct investment and 8.4 percent state own enterprises.