Vietnam Issues New Customs Regulations

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Oct. 16 – On September 10, 2013, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance issued Circular 128/2013/TT-BTC (hereinafter referred to as “Circular 128”) which enacts a host of new regulations with regards to customs procedures, customs control and supervision, import and export duties and the administration of duties on import and export goods.

Circular 128 will take effect starting November 1, 2013, and will amend certain articles of Circular 196/2012/TTBTC, in addition to replacing other related legal documents. Detailed information can be found below.

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1. Advance rulings

Circular 128 provides detailed provisions regarding the application of advance rulings in respect of goods classification, valuation and origin.

2. Timeline for duty payment

In order to enjoy import duty deferral for a period of 275 days, duty payers of goods that are imported under the export production procedures need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must own a manufacturing plant that is appropriate for the imported materials; and
  • Must perform export/import activities for a minimum of 2 years starting from the declared date of the imported materials and also have a good compliance record (both from a customs and accounting perspective).

If the enterprises cannot meet the above mentioned requirements, they can still enjoy duty deferral for a period of 275 days if they submit a bank guarantee letter to the relevant customs authorities. Furthermore, there are now no late payment penalties if the company also pays additional duties associated with the temporary import price.

3. Duty payment guarantee

Customs offices will now accept payment guarantee letters if the duty payer(s) meet the following conditions:

  • Possess at least VND 10 billion (US$ 470,000) in capital;
  • Perform export/import activities for a minimum of 365 days starting from the declaration date of the goods to be imported/exported;
  • Not have violated any regulations with regard to smuggling, transporting illegal goods through border-gates, evading duty payments/duty fraud or have faced more than two penalties with regard to customs activities over the previous year; and
  • Does not owe any outstanding duty payments, including actual duties, penalties or interest on overdue payments at the time of declaration.

The payment guarantee letter needs to be made in accordance with the Law on Credit Organizations and must also point out the guarantee duty amount including interest or penalties (if any), guarantee period and other payment commitments.

4. Other provisions

Circular 128 also includes amendments with regard to various customs declaration forms, goods clearance, liquidation of imported materials for export production, requirements for setting up and managing bonded warehouses, and duty exemption applications for priority enterprises, among others. Furthermore, Circular 128 also abolishes certain pre-existing provisions, such as the taking and filing of samples of imported materials for toll manufacturing and export production, and the applications to change border gates.

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