Vietnam: Which cases do not have to open a customs declaration in 2020?

According to Vietnam’s regulations, when exporting goods, enterprises must open customs declarations to export goods. However, there are some cases when exporting without a customs declaration. So what are those cases?

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LAWNET would like to answer this question as follows:

According to Vietnam’s current regulations, goods imported for manufacturing of domestic exports by an export processing enterprise (EPE) shall undergo customs procedures and be used for intended purposes, except for the following cases in which the EPE and its partners may decide whether to follow customs procedures:

(1) Goods are traded, leased or lent among EPEs. If the goods are raw materials, supplies, machines and equipment under processing contracts between EPEs, follow instructions in Clause 3 Article 76 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam;

(2) Goods are building materials, stationery, food, consumables bought from the domestic market to build, serve the operation of the EPE and life of the EPE’s employees;

(3) Goods circulated within an EPE or among EPEs in the same export-processing zone;

(4) Goods of EPEs of the same corporation or group of companies in Vietnam;

(5) Goods received and dispatched by the EPE for repair, classification, packaging or repackaging.

(6) Customs procedures are not required when goods imported by the EPE are sold to domestic enterprises if taxes on which have been fully paid and regulations on management of exports and imports of non-EPEs are complied with.

(7) Customs procedures are not required for trade of domestic goods purchased by the EPE if tax on which has been fully paid in accordance with regulations applied to non-EPEs. 

In the cases where an EPE purchases domestic goods subject to export duty, customs procedures have to be completed unless the goods are used as raw materials or supplies and consumed during the manufacturing process (e.g. fossil coal burnt during production).

Moreover, according to Clause 2 Article 16 of Circular No. 219/2013/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam on conditions for deducting and refunding input VATon exported goods and services, if customs procedure has been completed in accordance with instructions of the Ministry of Finance: the customs declaration.

If the taxpayer exports software programs in the form of physical packages, the customs declaration must be made similarly to ordinary goods in order to deduct input VAT. The customs declaration is not needed in the following cases:

(1)  The software and export exported via electronic means. The taxpayer must follow the procedure for certifying that the buyer has received the exported services or software via electronic means in accordance with the laws on electronic commerce.

(2) The construction or installation executed overseas or in free trade zones.

(3) Supply of electricity, water, stationery, and goods serving every day life of export processing company, including food and consumables (including personal protective equipment).

Note: If customs procedures are nor followed, the EPE shall keep a log of goods received and dispatched in accordance with regulations of the Ministry of Finance on goods trading, accounting, audit. Purposes and sources of supply of goods must also be specified. 

Legal bases:

- Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC

- Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC

- Circular No. 219/2013/TT-BTC


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