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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are customs documents? What documents do Customs documents for export and import goods include?

According to Clause 8, Article 4 of the Law on Customs 2014, customs documents include customs declarations, documents to be submitted or presented to customs agencies according to the Customs Law.

According to Article 24 of the Law on Customs 2014, customs documents include:

1. Customs declaration or document replacing customs declaration.

2. Relevant documents.

Depending on each case, customs declarants must submit or present goods sale and purchase contracts, commercial invoices, transport documents, certificates of origin, export or import permits and documents notifying the results of inspection or exemption from specialized inspection, documents related to goods in accordance with relevant laws.

Documents of customs documents are paper vouchers or electronic vouchers. Electronic vouchers must ensure integrity and format in accordance with the law on electronic transactions.

Customs dossiers are submitted and presented to the customs authorities at the headquarters of the customs offices.

In case of applying the national one stop mechanism, specialized state management agencies shall send export and import permits, written notices of specialized inspection and exemption results in electronic form through the system of integrated information.

Which documents are included in customs dossiers for exported goods?

According to Clause 1, Article 16 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015 of the Ministry of Finance, customs dossiers for exported goods include the following documents:

1. Declaration of exported goods (enterprises submit via the system, not the printing copy).

In case of being carried out on the printing customs declaration as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 25 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP, the customs declarant declares and submits 02 original declarations of export goods according to form HQ/2015/XK Appendix IV Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC.

2. Export permits for goods must have export permits: 01 original if exported once or 01 copy enclosed with a back-up tracking record if exported many times.

3. Inspection exemption notices or inspection result notices of specialized inspection agencies according to law: 01 original.

For export permits, inspection exemption notices or inspection result notices of specialized inspection agencies, if applying the national one stop mechanism, specialized state management agencies shall send export permits, written notice of inspection results, exemption of specialized inspection in the electronic form through the National one stop Portal, customs declarants are not required to submit when carrying out customs procedures.

What customs documents for imported goods include?

According to Clause 2, Article 16 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015 of the Ministry of Finance, customs documents for exported goods include the following documents:

1. Imported goods declaration (enterprises submit via the system, not have to submit the paper copy).

In case of carrying out the paper customs declaration as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 25 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP, the customs declarant declares and submits 02 originals.

2. Commercial invoice in case the buyer has to pay to the seller: 01 copy.

In cases where goods owners buy goods from sellers in Vietnam but are appointed by sellers to receive goods from foreign countries, customs agencies shall accept invoices issued by Vietnamese sellers to goods owners.Customs declarants are not required to submit commercial invoices in the following cases:

a) Customs declarants are priority enterprises.

b) Imported goods for performance of processing contracts for foreign traders; customs declarants declare the price temporarily calculated in the “Customs value” box on customs declarations.

c) Imported goods without invoices and buyers are not required to pay to sellers, customs declarants declare customs value under the guidance of the Ministry of Finance on customs value determination.

3) Transport documents or other transport documents have the same value in the case of goods transported by sea, air, rail, multimodal transport in accordance with the law (except for goodsimported through road border gates, goods traded between non-tariff zones and inland, imported goods brought by entry people through luggage: 01 copy.

For imported goods for oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities transported on service ships (not commercial vessels), submit cargo manifest instead of transport documents.

4. Import permits for goods required to have import; Import permits according to tariff quota: 01 original if imported once or 01 copy attached with a back-subtraction tracking slip if imported many times.

5. Inspection exemption notice or inspection result notice of specialized inspection agency as prescribed by law: 01 original.

For documents specified at Points d and đ of this Clause, if the national one-stop mechanism is applied, the specialized state management agency shall send import permits and written notices of inspection, specialized inspection exemption results in electronic form through the National one-stop Portal, customs declarants are not required to submit when carrying out customs procedures.

6. Value declaration: The customs declarant declares the value declaration in the form, sends it to the system in the form of electronic data or submits it to the customs agencies 02 originals (for cases declared on the paper customs declaration). Cases subject to declaration of value declarations and value declaration forms shall comply with the Circular of Ministry of Finance prescribing the determination of customs values for exported and imported goods.

7. Documents certifying the origin of goods (Certificate of origin or self-certified document of origin): 01 original or document in the form of electronic data in the following cases:

a) Goods originating from countries or groups of countries that agree on the application of special preferential tax rates for Vietnam under the provisions of Vietnamese law and according to international treaties which Vietnam has signed or joined, if the importer wants to enjoy such preferential regimes.

b) Goods according to announcement of Vietnam or international organizations that are at the time of danger to social safety, community health or environmental sanitation should be controlled.

c) Goods imported from countries that Vietnam notified that they are at the time of application of anti-dumping tax, anti-subsidy tax, anti-discrimination tax, safeguard tax, applicable tax rate according to tariff rates;

d) Imported goods must comply with import management regimes according to the provisions of Vietnamese law or international treaties to which Vietnam is a member.

In case of agreement on the application of special preferential tax rates for Vietnam or according to the international treaties which Vietnam has signed or joined, which have provisions on the submission of certificates of origin of imports as electronic vouchers or self-certified document of origin of producers/exporters/importers; the customs agencies accept these documents.

How are actual goods inspection levels and forms implemented?

According to Clause 3, Clause 4 Article 29 Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP dated January 21, 2015 of the Government:

1. Forms of actual goods inspection:

a) Customs officers check directly.

b) Check by technical means, other professional measures.

c) Check through the results of goods analysis and appraisal.

In the course of actual goods inspection, if it is necessary to change the form of goods inspection, the director of the Customs Sub-Department of the locality, where the actual goods inspection is implemented, decides. Actual inspection results by scanners, screening equipment combined with electronic scales and other technical equipment are the foundations for customs authorities to make decisions on goods clearance.

2. Level of actual goods inspection:

The actual goods inspection shall be carried out until it is enough foundation to determine the legality and suitability of the whole cargo with the customs dossiers.

Customs officers shall conduct the actual inspection of goods according to the decisions of the director of the Customs Sub-Department and base on the information related to the goods at the time of inspection; the officers are responsible for the results for the goods tested.

What is customs clearance? In which cases are goods cleared?

According to Clause 1, Article 4 of Customs Law in 2014, customs clearance is the completion of customs procedures for goods to be imported, exported or put under other customs professional management regimes.

According to Article 37 of the Customs Law, Article 34 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC, goods are cleared in the following cases:

1. Goods are cleared after customs procedures have been completed.

2. Export and import goods shall enjoy customs clearance when determined:

a) To apply the tax payment term as prescribed in Clause 11, Article 1 of the Law amending and supplementing some Articles of the Law on Tax Management and guidelines in Article 42 of Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC, or

b) Those which have to pay taxes before customs clearance but taxes have not paid or tax amounts payable are not paid in full but the credit institutions guarantee the payable tax amounts.

3. Lack of several documents in the customs dossier but agreed by the Director of the Customs Sub-Department to extend the deadline for submission of the originals according to the provisions of Clause 3, Article 27 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP.

4. Goods subject to specialized inspection shall enjoy customs clearance when fulfilling their tax obligations as prescribed and having one of the following documents:

a) Notice of exemption from inspection.

b) The results of specialized inspection meet the management requirements for imported goods of specialized inspection agencies.

c) Conclusions of specialized management agencies or handling decisions of competent state agencies for cargo which is allowed to be imported.

5. Export and import goods whose taxes have not been paid, in the pending time of carrying out the procedures for consideration of exemption, tax exemption, or not subject to tax collection shall enjoy customs clearance in the following cases:

a) Goods in direct service of security and national defense, paying special consumption tax, environmental protection tax and other taxes as prescribed by law (if any).

b) Goods for prevention and fighting against natural disasters, epidemics and for emergency relief; goods for humanitarian aid and non-refundable aid shall pay all relevant taxes according to the provisions of law for cases subject to tax.

c) Goods shall be paid by the state budget capital with the certification of the competent agency of the tax amounts which have not been paid from the state budget.

What is the basis for determining exported goods?

According to Article 53 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015 of the Ministry of Finance, the basis for determining exported goods is determined as follows:

1. For exported goods via sea, air, railway, inland waterway, transshipment ports and transshipment areas; goods supplied to ships and aircraft on exit; exported goods are shipped together with people on exit through aviation border gates; exported goods brought into bonded warehouses; Exported goods included in the CFS warehouse, the basis is exported goods declarations which have been cleared and certified for goods passed through the monitoring area of the System.

2. For exported goods through road or river border gates, the basis is the exported goods declarations which have been cleared and certified by customs officers who confirm that the goods have passed through the monitoring area of the system when goods are transported across borders to importing countries.

3. For on-spot exported goods, goods from inland sold into non-tariff zones in border-gate economic zones or export processing zones, export-processing enterprises, the basis is exported goods declarations and imported goods declarations which have been cleared.

4. Cases of declaration on paper customs declarations:

a) For goods specified at Point 1 and Point 2 above, the basis is the exported goods declarations which have been cleared and the goods which have been certified through the monitoring area (Write date, month, year, sign and seal) of customs officers of export border gates. For exported goods through road and river border gates particularly, it is the exported goods declarations which have been cleared and confirmed that the goods have actually been exported.

b) For goods specified at Point 3 above, it is the exported goods declarations which have been cleared.

What is the procedure for Vietnamese residing overseas to repatriate to Vietnam and have permanent residence in Vietnam and want to import the properties of cars, which are used abroad?

According to Article 6 of Circular No. 20/2014/TT-BTC dated February 12, 2014 of the Ministry of Finance regulating the import of cars and motorbikes according to the movable property regime of Vietnamese citizens residing in foreign countries have been solved permanent residence registration in Vietnam, procedures for importing cars and motorcycles are stipulated as follows:

1. Import document:

a) Import license for cars and motorbikes: 02 originals.

b) Bill of lading: 01 original (stamped by the Customs Department of the province or city where the license for import of cars and motorbikes is granted).

c) Non-commercial import/export customs declaration (HQ/2011-PMD): 02 originals.

d) Registration certificate of quality inspection of technical safety and environmental protection of imported motor vehicles (for cars): 01 notarized copy with the original for checking and comparing.

e) Registration certificate of quality inspection of imported motorbikes (for motorcycles): 01 notarized copy with the original for checking and comparing.

2. Order of import procedures:

a) Location of procedure completion

– Procedures for import of cars shall be carried out at border-gate Customs Sub-Department (where cars are transported from foreign countries to border gates) according to current regulations on used cars. Particularly for Vietnamese citizens residing in countries bordering on land, who are allowed to repatriate and transport cars through land border gates, they may carry out import procedures at international border gates.

– Procedures for temporary import of motorbikes shall be carried out at the Customs Sub-Department according to the provisions of law.

b) Procedures for import of cars and motorbikes according to the regime of movable assets shall comply with current regulations on import goods not for commercial purposes and relevant guiding documents.

c) The border-gate Customs Sub-Department only clears the customs when there is a certificate of quality of technical safety and environmental protection of imported motor vehicles (for cars), certificate of technical safety quality and environmental protection of cars and motorcycles (for motorcycles) of quality inspection agencies.

d) To complete customs clearance procedures for cars, motorbikes, leader of border-gate Customs Sub-Department will certify the contents of “imported cars and motorbikes under the movable property regime” into the Customs declaration of non-commercial import/export goods (HQ/2011-PMD), not issuing origin declarations for imported cars and motorbikes; return to overseas Vietnamese citizens who have repatriated 01 vehicle import permit (with certification of the results of carrying out import procedures for cars and motorbikes of border-gate Customs Sub-Department where import procedures are carried out), 01 declaration of HQ/2011-PMD (saved by the declarant) to carry out the procedures for registering vehicle circulation according to the current law provisions and 01 copy of the declaration of HQ/2011-PMD (saved by the customs declarant) stamped to carry out transfer procedures and certification of import border-gate Customs Sub-Department; duplicate the declaration of non-commercial import and export goods certified by the import border-gate Customs Sub-Department to the Customs Department of the province or city where the import permit is granted to monitor and fully update the information on the vehicle import declaration into the General Department of Customs’ information management system for centralized information management…. ”