Vietnam, Australia sign cooperation agreement on customs inspection

The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) took a significant step toward enhanced cooperation by signing a new plan to collaborate on customs investigations and monitoring during their talks in Hanoi on May 7.

The plan, signed by The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) Director General Nguyen Van Can and the Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram signified a commitment to sharing expertise and tackling customs violations.

Vietnam, Australia sign cooperation agreement on customs inspection
Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner Michael Outram. (Source: VietnamPlus)

This collaboration comes amid a thriving economic relationship between Vietnam and Australia. Two-way trade has reached nearly 15 billion USD in recent years, solidifying Australia's position as Vietnam's 10th largest trade partner.

Outram shared that the two agencies have agreed to formalize the high-level bilateral meeting mechanism. Bilateral meetings will exchange action plans and work plans. The two sides have pledged to work together on issues such as identifying focuses, sharing information, building staff, and developing capacity.

In addition to bilateral cooperation, the two agencies will also continue to boost cooperation within multilateral frameworks of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Asia-Pacific region, or ASEAN of which Australia is a Dialogue Partner, he said.

According to Outram, the two agencies share many similarities in crime fighting, and the need to accelerate the pace of trade in goods between the two countries. Therefore, the potential for bilateral cooperation is huge.

He said he looks forward to continuing to promote the two agencies’ cooperation in the years to come.

Vietnam and Australia on March 7 announced to elevate their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The two countries have recorded outstanding results in bilateral trade growth in the past years, with Australia becoming Vietnam's 10th largest trading partner.

Recognizing the growth, both sides highlighted the importance of optimizing trade facilitation with effective customs control to ensure national security and safety.

The newly signed plan outlines a collaborative approach to combating illegal commercial activities like smuggling, trade fraud, and the movement of prohibited goods, with a particular focus on drugs, tobacco, and controlled substances.

According to the GDVC’ representative, the high-level leadership talks between the two agencies aimed to review and evaluate cooperation activities in the previous time and orient cooperation plans in the coming time.

On this occasion, the two sides signed the Plan of Investigative Cooperation to promote cooperation and exchange of professional information in the fight against violations in the field of customs.

This is also the result of the efforts of the two customs law enforcement agencies in ensuring the facilitation of lawful trade of actors participating in the international supply chain while effectively controlling the flow of goods across the border, ensuring trade compliance, and promptly preventing customs violations.

The GDVC expressed its appreciation for the ABF's ongoing support within the framework of the Container Control Programme (CCP) and its active participation in the Mekong Dragon Campaign, a regional initiative co-initiated by Vietnam.

It additionally requested the ABF's support in enhancing the capacity of its dog trainers.

The ABF side said it had appointed representatives at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam to contribute to further developing the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two sides.

Concluding the talks, both sides agreed to hold talks every two years to review progress and draft future cooperation directions.

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(Source: VNA)