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Goods are freely imported or exported from Vietnam provided that they do not fall into the list of goods prohibited from import and export or goods subject to licenses granted from Vietnam’s relevant competent ministries. 

Lists of goods subject to licenses of nine ministries including the Ministry of Industry and Trade,  the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Resource and Environment and the Ministry of Transports.

1. Customs rulings

An export transaction includes various documents from beginning to finish. Both buyer and supplier should have a clear understanding of the processes and the documentation in detail of how many copies of a particular document have to be submitted at any stage.

Custom dossier consists of

§         For trade goods exported, the customs dossier is as same as dossier of common exports, it is not necessary to have paper approved by Ministry of Industry and Trade (except goods belong to the lists of import ban or conditional import)

§         For goods produced from imported materials, besides prescribed customs dossier, paper of norm of material imported for exportation

§         For goods temporarily exported for repair or guarantee for a given period, the goods can be re-exported in identified duration in service of the repair guarantee. The enterprise must have the permit of Director of border-gate customs office in writing. In case the re-importation is carried out beyond specified duration with legitimate reasons, the enterprises shall enjoy extended duration; however the extension shall not exceed three months.

2. Customs declaration

The export transaction must be reported to Vietnamese Customs, who check the goods against conditions laid down in the export permit before clearing them

When carrying out customs procedures for exporting goods, the customs declarers must submit and present a customs dossier at the headquarters of Customs Sub-branch and be responsible for legality and lawfulness of customs dossiers and accurateness of declared contents on customs declaration form.

A clear and concise documentation is preferable.

Documents to be submitted and presented:

  • The export goods declaration forms: 02 originals
  • The goods purchase and sale contract or papers of equivalent legal value: 01 duplicate
  • The commercial invoice: 01 original
  • The bill of lading: 01 duplicate

Documents to be produced:

  • The business registration certificate: 01 original
  • The certificate of import/ export business code registration: 01 copy (duplicate or original).
  • Other regulations on declaration, documents included in the customs dossiers:
  • The customs declarers may submit the certificate of origin 60 (sixty) days later; other documents belonging to the customs dossiers (excluding customs declaration) 30 (thirty) days later as of the registration of customs declaration form in case where they obtain the approval of the Heads of Customs Sub-Departments.
  • Before the time the customs officers conduct the actual goods inspection, if the customs declarers made written requests which are approved by the Heads of Customs Sub-Departments, they may withdraw the registered customs declarations for supplementation and/ or amendment or replacements.
  • The customs declarers may register the customs declaration for the import goods before the goods arrive at the border gates within 15 (fifteen) days, later than this time limit the customs declaration is no longer valid. If goods are imported later than this time limit, the declarer must register the other customs declaration.
  • If the goods owners who regularly exports and/ or imports the same items of goods within a given period under the same purchase and sale contract may use a single customs declaration (registered once) for carrying out customs procedures for the exportation or importation of such goods items within the delivery time determined in the purchase and sale contracts.

3. Inspection of the goods’ actual condition

  • Probability inspection of the actual conditions of goods of no more than 10% of goods lot
  • The subjects applied this probability inspection consist of: The goods owners and the goods of the owners not belonging to the subjects that meet conditions for exemption from actual goods inspections, shall have to be inspected 10% of goods lot before carrying out customs procedures.
  • Determination of the inspection rate
  • If the goods are packed in bales, the inspection rate shall be the rate of inspected bales.
  • If the goods are packed in containers, the inspection rate shall be the rate of inspected containers or the rate of inspected bales in each container.
  • Inspection of the actual conditions of the whole export or import goods lots
  • For the goods owners who have been more than three times handled for customs-related violations within two years as of the date of carrying out customs procedures for import activities, and one year, as of the date of carrying out customs procedures for export activities, with the level of each fine falling beyond the sanctioning competence of the Directors of Provincial, inter-provincial, and municipal Departments.
  • For the export or import goods lots showing signs of violation of the customs legislation.

4. Conditions for goods customs clearance

  • The declaration of the customs declarer or the results of the State inspection body or expert organization, for goods exempt from actual inspection.
  • The results of the actual goods inspection by the customs office, for goods subject to actual inspection.
  • The certificate of registration of State inspection of goods quality, which is issued by the expert organization, or the notice on exemption from State inspection of goods quality, which is issued by a competent State management body, for imports goods subject to State inspection of goods quality.
  • The expertise results, for goods requiring expertise.
  • Export goods and import goods not subject to taxes collected by the customs offices, duty-free goods, processed goods, and other special goods shall enjoy customs clearance immediately after there is the customs office’s certification of the goods inspection results on the declaration forms.
  • Export goods and import goods subject to goods cleared immediately after the customs declarers pay taxes. Goods enjoying grace days of tax payment cleared immediately on the tax notification of the Customs office.
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