Vietnamese businesses report less ‘facilitation’ payments

By Anh Minh   January 8, 2019 | 11:17 pm PT
Vietnamese businesses report less ‘facilitation’ payments
Eighteen percent of businesses made ‘facilitation’ payments in last year. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu
The number of businesses making ‘facilitation’ payments has dropped from 28 percent in 2015 to 18 percent last year.

A recent survey has also found 56 percent of enterprises saying they did not incur any unofficial costs, compared to 37 percent in 2015.

The survey was conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the General Customs Department.

It covered a total of 3,061 businesses in the country.

The biggest collector of unofficial payments, according to the survey, was the Ministry of Industry and Trade (51 percent), followed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (34 percent).

The two ministries with the lowest tendency to collect facilitation payments were the Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, at 17.5 percent and 16 percent respectively.

However 52 percent of enterprises said that they would not be treated differently if they did not pay unofficial fees, 24 percent were unsure whether they would face discrimination, and only 15 percent said they would be discriminated against if they did not pay.

Among those reporting discrimination, the most common form was to extend the time to complete procedures (93 percent), while 69 percent of respondents reported difficulties carrying out subsequent procedures.

Other forms of discrimination included the request of documents outside regulation (48 percent) and impolite behavior (41 percent).

Vu Tien Loc, VCCI chairman, said that survey results show that in 2018, the satisfaction level of the business community with the customs sector has improved in most indicators compared to 2015. However, there are still many things that the customs department needs to actively implement in the coming time.

Loc said customs procedures need to improve in terms of transparency, consistency and the competency of customs officers. The sector needs to invest heavily in facilities to better conditions for businesses that have to complete administrative procedures, he added.

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