Senior Customs Expert

USAID Vietnam Trade Facilitation Program


Base of Operation: HANOI, VIETNAM
Period of Performance: LONG-TERM (o/a February 2021 – o/a January 2022)
(subject to extension based on manager’s recommendation)

Project Background:

The USAID Trade Facilitation Program is a five-year project that aims to support Vietnam to streamline and standardize customs procedures, specialize inspection, and to adopt and implement a risk management approach to the clearance of goods at Vietnam’s borders which will facilitate the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).

The Program will work with the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) to strengthen Vietnam’s National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC); streamline border clearance procedures, including specialized inspection implemented by other line ministries and agencies; harmonize the implementation of risk-based approach between the national and provincial levels; and train national and provincial customs officers and staff from other ministries on risk management.

In addition to providing targeted assistance at the central level, the Program localizes technical assistance and operations in six targeted provinces identified and selected in close cooperation with GDVC, i.e.: Da Nang, Dong Nai, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Tri. In implementing its activities, the Program looks specifically to engage the private sector, the ultimate beneficiaries of trade facilitation, as advocates to help champion trade facilitation reforms. Achieving the Program’s objectives will help improve the trade and investment environment for the business sector, and help Vietnamese enterprises further integrate into global value chains.


The USAID Trade Facilitation Program provides assistance to the Government of Vietnam at both national and provincial levels so as to, among others, improve customs procedures to facilitate cross-border trade. In order to achieve this, the Senior Customs Expert will provide strategic support to the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) and other members of the Program team on customs-related matters.

The expert will have the responsibility of managing the provincial activities of the Program, supervising the trade facilitation coordinators recruited in the different localities. The Program recruited four trade facilitation coordinators in charge of implementing the activities in the targeted provinces. The four trade facilitation coordinators are responsible, respectively, of Hai Phong, Hanoi, Central Vietnam (Danang and Quang Tri) and South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai). The expert will also manage selected customs-related activities included in component 2 of the Program (including those focusing on customs valuation, business process analysis and reengineering in selected provinces, advance rulings mechanism and pre-arrival processing for imports).

The Senior Customs Expert will lead the coordination of the technical assistance activities implemented by the US Customs Border Protection (CBP) Agency in cooperation with GDVC, as well as with other US Agencies or International organizations.

The role of the Senior Customs Expert will be to provide strategic advice to the DCOP on customs-related matters necessary for the preparation of the annual Work Plans, and for the design and the implementation of the relevant customs-related activities. The expert may also be instructed by the DCOP to directly provide technical assistance to specific customs-related topics of Program’s activities.

The Senior Customs Expert will be based in Hanoi and will be required to visit selected provinces as needed to strengthen the relations with the leaders of local stakeholders, including, among others, Provincial People’s Committees, GDVC, local customs departments, provincial line departments and the representatives of the private sector associated with trade facilitation measures including risk management, specialized
inspection reform, private sector engagement and capacity building.

The Senior Customs Expert will assist the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) in further developing the relations with the leadership of GDVC and local Customs Departments.

Responsibilities and Tasks:

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Implementation of the customs-related AWP activities under his/her identified areas of responsibility;
  • Strengthen the coordination between central and provincial agencies in customs and trade facilitation topics;
  • Support the DCOP in liaising with the leaders of the GDVC and of local customs leaders;
  • Manage the trade facilitation coordinators responsible for the implementation of the AWP activities in the six selected provinces, including, among the others, customs operations and management;
  • Inform the DCOP and the members of the Program team about new customs-related policies, legal acts or any other customs-related information relevant for the Program (focusing in particular, but not exclusively, on measures and procedures related to risk management and specialized inspection);
  • Support the Senior Training Expert of the Program in identifying the priorities of the customs-related training strategy of the Program, in line with the key objectives of the counterpart;
  • Work with the Senior Training Expert of the Program to and maintain effective working relationships with key staff of Vietnam Customs School, GDVC’s departments, and other local customs and line departments.
  • Other contributions to the Program as requested by the COP and DCOP.

The Senior Customs Expert will be expected to contribute to the overall achievement of program results by undertaking other tasks, activities, or assignments as directed by the DCOP, consistent with the aims and objectives of the Program and the technical skills required.

The Senior Customs Expert will work under the direct management and supervision of the DCOP.


  • Master’s degree in customs administration, law, economics, public policy, business administration, international trade, trade policy, or similar field;
  • At least ten years of experience in working on customs-related topics;
  • Experience working with Vietnam Customs at Central and/or Provincial levels;
  • Proven knowledge and understanding of requirements under the Vietnamese Customs Law and regulations, border procedures, imports-exports specialized inspection matters, risk management, and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement;
  • Good understanding of Vietnam’s government system and administrative processes, as well as practical experience of engaging with a diversity of governmental and non-governmental partners;
  • Familiar with international customs best practices. Experience with customs training is preferred;
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, problem solving, and leadership skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Proficient in word processing, spreadsheets and office software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Applications; and
  • Fluency in English and Vietnamese.

The Senior Customs Expert will report to the DCOP.

Applications should be sent to no later than Dec 24, 2020.

Job Details
Organisation Name:
USAID Trade Facilitation Program
Application Deadline:
Thu, 2020-12-24
Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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