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Monday, July 03, 2017, 13:01 (GMT+7)
Immigration reforms at land border gates and sea ports

Implementing the Resolution 84-NQ/DU dated 7th March 2011 of the Party Executive Committee of the Border Guards on “Enhancing the capability in border gate procedure of the border guards in the new situation”, over the past years, the Border Guards has strengthened its administrative reform, fostered the application of information technology, made a new move in the modernization of immigration procedure through border gates and seaports and gained positive achievements. Border Guard units have paid attention to investing and modernizing their facilities, applied information technology in the immigration procedures in international border gates, main border gates and key seaports; implemented the closed computer system for subsidiary border gates. In addition, there have been improvements in the immigration procedure in border gates and renewals in the working style, thereby eliminating the unnecessary, redundant and overlapped procedures, making it unified, synchronous, simple, open, transparent. Thanks to the reforms, notable results have been achieved, namely: 38 administrative procedures announced in the national data profile on border management have been reduced to 28; the electronic border guard procedure rate has increased from 07% to 11%; 45.5% of the documents of the sea border gates has no longer been required. Thereby, time for immigration procedure has been reduced significantly; making it fast and economic for people and goods to be processed, hence saving time and cost for individuals and enterprises.

Border Guards at Cha Lo Border Gate present flower to first two foreigners using e-border customs clearance system (photo:

Implementing the Decision 22/2011/QĐ-TTg, dated 15 April 2011 of the Prime Minister, the Border Guards has implemented the electronic border guard  procedure system at 07 of its seaport units, making it easier for enterprises to declare information on ships, shipmen, passengers, goods, simplifying immigration procedures and reducing time for passengers and enterprises. Implementing the direction of the Government and the Ministry of National Defense, the Border Guards has been piloting the National Single-Door Customs clearance mechanism on connecting the national single-door portal with all the seaports and then the road border gates. Up to now, 07 port border guards units have been connected with the National single-door portal. On the other hand, specialized softwares have been installed; professional procedures have been standardized to fit the requirements of the National Single-Door Portal and to match other ministries and sectors in terms of code of information declaration and settlement. Closely coordinating with functional agencies, other ministries and sectors to propose to the Government and directly build mechanism, policies for managing the system of border markets, markets in the border gate economic zones, border trade activities with bordering countries; implement the treaty signed among Greater Mekong Subregion countries, the Regulations on the operation of administrative activities in land border gates and coordinate with the General Department of Tourism to manage foreign tourists coming in and out of Vietnam, etc.

The above administrative reforms have made a new and significant change in the immigration activities with more simple procedure, more user-friendly softwares. The electronic seaport border guard clearance through National Single-Door Portal has reduced the time of loading and unloading goods in seaports and been highly appreciated by enterprises and domestic and overseas shipping firms. Therefore, more and more ships and tourists come to Vietnam through seaports, making it more effective for enterprises to exploit seaports capability in serve for socio-economic development while maintaining security check with people and vehicles at sea border gates and seaports.

However, besides the achievements, there have emerged a number of difficulties, namely: the insufficiency in staff of the border gate border guards; the limitations in experience and professional knowledge of some border guard officers and soldiers; the insufficiency of facilities. Meanwhile, the system of seaports and border gate economic zones has seen fast growth in both quantity and scale with more and more people and vehicles coming through; new kinds of crimes have emerged with sophisticated means; smuggling, trade frauds, illegal transportation of goods through border lines are happening with complication, affecting greatly the combat and control of crime to maintain security, order and safety in border, border gate and seaport areas. In this situation, to continue to implement administrative reform towards the modernization of immigration procedure through seaports and sea border gates, it is necessary for the Border Guards to focus on the following measures:

First, continue to gasp and effectively implement the guidelines of the Government on administrative reform together with the implementation of the Resolution 84-NQ/ĐU of the Border Guards Party Executive Committee on “Enhancing the capability in border gate procedure of the Border Guards in the new situation”.

Second, actively advise and propose to the Government and the Ministry of National Defense matters relating to the border gates procedure in general and the immigration procedure in particular; review, build, supplement and perfect the system of legal documents concerning the management and control of immigration to ensure the synchronicity and suit international law.

Third, study to further the application of information technology, improve the professional procedure, shorten the time of clearance and improve the accuracy of immigration control.

Fourth, closely coordinate with related ministries and sectors to build legal documents in the field of immigration. Advise local party executive committees and authorities to make long term plan of the system of border gate stations, border gate economic zones and build sustainable infrastructure, meeting the demand of economic development and defense and security consolidation.

Fifth, effectively uphold the role and responsibility of the Department of Border Gate in advising, proposing, directing and instructing the management, checking, controlling immigration through border gates and seaports.

Sixth, build an appropriate staff of specialized force in charge of border gate work who are politically steadfast, comprehensively qualified in profession, information technology, foreign languages, moral, polite, professional, and highly equipped, meeting the requirements of international integration and the tasks assigned in the new situation.

Major General Le Thanh Tung

Director of the Border Gate Department, Border Guards High Command

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