Vietnam opens first specialised checkpoint at international airport

February 24, 2016 | 05:45 pm GMT+7

Vietnam has launched the country’s first-ever quarantine surveillance and phytosanitary control for exports and imports at Hanoi's international airport, cutting days off the customs clearance process, said the government’s online newspaper.

The customs inspection station at Noi Bai International Airport enables authorities in charge of food safety, animal quarantine and phytosanitary control the ability to jointly perform examinations on exports and imports.

The facility is expected to allow businesses to have their cargo inspected at the airport rather than being shipped to different locations for quarantine procedures.

It used to take between 10 and 15 days for goods in need of quarantine controls to go through customs checks, said Nguyen Van Truong, head of Hanoi’s Customs Department, adding that with the opening, companies now could reduce their wait time to only a week.

The system, at one of the country’s busiest international airports by cargo traffic, was a great way to support businesses in executing customs clearances, he added.

Noi Bai International Airport handled about 99,000 requests for customs checks in 2015, nearly 15 percent of which had to go through quarantine examinations.

For instance, a company importing cheese and yoghurt previously had to go back and forth between several authorities to meet all requirements for customs clearance. Now it is possible to work with all those authorities at one location, significantly speeding up customs procedures, and cutting warehouse rental charges as well as other operating costs, Nguyen Kim Hai, a deputy executive from An Phuoc company, told Hanoi Moi Newspaper.

Hanoi’s customs officials said they had asked four relevant authorities, including the National Institution for Food Safety Control, Plant Protection, Animal Quarantine, and the provider of commodity inspections Vinacontrol, to contribute officers to work together at the facility.

Two more customs stations, one at the airport and the other at the seaport, will be opened in Ho Chi Minh City later this month.