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Jan 03, 2020 / 15:24

Vietnam 2019 customs revenue hits all-time high of US$15 billion

Vietnam’s active participation in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements created a pathway for improvements in the country’s business environment and support local enterprises to grow.

Vietnam’s customs revenue in 2019 reached an all-time high of VND348 trillion (US$15 billion) in 2019 despite unfavorable global economic environment and lower import tariffs under free trade agreements (FTAs).

 Data: GDVC. Chart: Hai Yen. 

Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs Luu Manh Tuong said the record customs revenue, significantly higher than VND314 trillion (US$13.54 billion) in 2018, was thanks to strong growth of the country's external trade, which hit US$517 billion in 2019.

Tuong pointed to the operation of Nghi Son oil refinery – petrochemical plants that led to a surge in crude oil imports and eventually boosted value-added tax revenue. In 2019, Vietnam imported 7.07 million tons of crude oil worth US$3.33 billion, up 48% in quantity and 38% in value year-on-year, leading to tax revenue of VND7.87 trillion (US$339.11 million) from these products, up 41% year-on-year.

Another reason for higher customs revenue was hefty import of 135,230 cars worth US$2.91 billion, up 100.4% in volume and 97.7% in value year-on-year, leading to customs revenue of VND38.2 trillion (US$1.64 billion), up 102.4% year-on-year.

Over the last ten years, customs revenue have been a major source of fiscal receipts, accounting for 25 – 30% of the total figure annually. In the 2009 – 2019 period, the figure increased by 2.6 fold from VND132 trillion (US$5.68 billion) to VND348 trillion (US$15 billion).

Over the past years, Vietnam has step up efforts to integrate in the global and regional economy, particularly with the signing of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements such as the Vietnam – South Korea FTA (VKFTA), ASEAN – South Korea FTA (AKFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), among others, creating a pathway for improvements in the country’s business environment and supporting local enterprises to grow.

Under the government’s Decree No.57 on preferential and special preferential export tariff schedules under the CPTPP in the 2019 – 2022 period, Vietnam is committed to removing the majority of import tariffs for goods and products in 5 – 10 years after the enforcement of the agreement.