Continuing to Support Businesses Affected by the Pandemic

2:07:39 PM | 12/6/2020

Circular 47/2020/TT-BTC is one of the solutions of the General Department of Customs, the Ministry of Finance in supporting goods clearance for businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This circular is based on the recommendations of the competent authority issuing certificates of origin (C/O) and the feedback of enterprises having difficulty in submitting C/O during the Covid-19.

This circular stipulates the subjects of application including: customs declarants; customs offices, customs officers; other organizations and individuals having rights and obligations related to determining the origin of export and import goods.

The issues of most concern include: The time of submitting C/O; forms of C/O; the implementation effect are already specified in Circular 47.

Specifically, about the time of submitting documents certifying goods origin, Circular 47 stipulates that: Customs declarants submit documents certifying goods origin at the time of carrying out customs procedures to apply special preferential tax rates, according to the provisions of Point a, Clause 1, Article 7 of the Finance Minister's Circular 38/2018/TT-BTC dated April 20, 2018, on determining the origin of export and import goods (called as Circular 38/2018/TT-BTC).

In case there is no document certifying the origin of goods at the time of carrying out the customs procedures to apply the special preferential tax rate, the customs declarant must declare slow submission of C/O on the import customs declaration and are allowed to make additional declaration and submit C/O within the validity period of the certificates. Customs declarants declare at the most favored nation (MFN) or ordinary import tax rates and may additionally submit C/O within the validity period of the certificates to apply the corresponding special preferential tax rate; customs offices are responsible for refunding the difference tax amount already paid.

Regarding the form C/O, Circular 47 provides clear guidance on the specific cases. In the case of imported goods subject to special preferential tax rates, customs declarants shall submit C/O as follows: Regarding C/O using signatures and electronic seals. Customs authorities accept C/O using electronic signatures and seals provided that the competent authorities of the exporting countries have notified the issuance of C/O using electronic signatures and seals, and providing websites to check C/O or other lookup methods. Customs authorities check the validity of C/O on their websites or other searching methods of the issuing agencies to apply the special preferential tax rates as prescribed and print a C/O copy for customs records.

Regarding C/O copies/scans, the customs authorities accept C/O copies/scans provided that the competent authorities of the exporting countries have notified the use of the C/O copies/scans of the original ones and provide C/O copies/scans, or websites or other inspection methods for customs authorities to determine the validity of C/O. Customs authorities check the validity of C/O copies/scans on the website or other inspection methods provided by the issuing agency to apply the special preferential tax rates as prescribed and print a copy of C/O to keep customs records.

Customs authorities will base on C/O copies/scans, customs dossiers, actual goods, shipment's journey and other relevant information to check the origin of goods and decide on customs clearance. Customs declarants are responsible for returning 1 original copy of C/O within 180 days from the date of registration of import customs declaration.

Circular 47 has taken effect from the day the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam announced Covid-19 epidemic (January 23, 2020), applying to the registered import customs declarations from January 23, 2020. At the same time, based on the development of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world, the Minister of Finance announces the termination of this circular.

By Huong Hau, Vietnam Business Forum