Pham Ngoc Thuc from Fusa Organic Agriculture JSC

At a conference on import/export activities in Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong and Hung Yen held on March 2, Pham Ngoc Thuc, chair of Fusa Organic Agriculture JSC, said it takes the company 70 days to ship one container of goods from Hai Phong to Europe, but it takes less than 40 days from Thailand to Europe.

One container of 5,000 red pomelo departing from Hoa Binh on November 24, 2022 arrived in Hai Phong three days later and docked at a port in London on February 3, or 2.5 months later.

The company exports other farm produce, including chili and sugarcane, but it has to spend a lot of time on procedures. Meanwhile, bank loan interest rates are high at 9 percent.

Bui Chau Giang from Cai Lan Vegetable Oil said Vietnam has set strict formalities on examining the quality of cattle feed. It takes 2-3 days to take samples to obtain an import license.

“The procedures for having animal feed quality examined are even stricter than the procedures for examining vegetable oil for humans,” Giang commented.

Dang The Phuong, Vice Chair of Hai Phong Transport Association, said that one consignment of goods that needs manual check or scanning may cost from several hundreds to thousands of USD. Businesses also have to pay for storage, moving containers within the ports and putting them into scanners.

“If you are lucky, your goods will get customs clearance immediately. If not, you have to carry goods back to the ports. Each enterprise has hundreds of consignments each month and each consignment consists of tens of containers. The scanning costs so much time and money,” Phuong said.

According to the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), about 38 percent of enterprises face difficulties trying to learn information about administrative procedures for import/export activities. Procedures for professional examination remain a big problem.

Ngoc Cuong