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Create a stable and transparent eCommerce management for imports and exports

14:39 | 27/09/2021

VCN – The General Department of Customs held a webinar with representatives of eCommerce trading floors, commercial banks, intermediary payment service providers to continue to gather their comments on the draft decree on management of imports and exports through eCommerce transactions.

Tax management for goods transacted via eCommerce Tax management for goods transacted via eCommerce
Regulations on specialized management for goods traded via e-commerce will be revised Regulations on specialized management for goods traded via e-commerce will be revised
Procedures for e-commerce imports and exports to be issued Procedures for e-commerce imports and exports to be issued
Create a stable and transparent eCommerce management for imports and exports

Deputy Director General Mai Xuan Thanh spoke at the webinar

According to Deputy Director General, eCommerce activities are still increasing, especially rapidly increasing amid the pandemic.Deputy Director General of the General Department of Customs Mai Xuan Thanh said the draft received comments from businesses and management agencies. But, the Customs administration has expanded consultation to those affected by the decree to finalise the draft before submitting it the Government.

In addition to development, the Customs also realised potential risks of trade fraud. Therefore, the Government has assigned the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) to develop a decree which meet two requirements of both facilitating trade and ensuring management and control.

“Businesses expect lower costs and fast clearance while the customs authority ensures the management, prevents fraud and fake and contraband goods as well as goods infringing intellectual property right to the domestic market. The development of the decree will create a stable and transparent management. This is in line with the eCommerce type and management policy of many countries in the world,” said Mai Xuan Thanh.

The Deputy Director General requested stakeholders carefully study the draft to understand their responsibilities and give comments.

The management of import and export goods transacted via eCommerce are facing four problems: customs formalities, customs clearance time; advanced information and specialised management.

In terms of customs formalities, buyers do not submit paper documents related to the value of exported and imported goods (because buyers often pay via debit cards, e-wallets, etc.) to the Customs agency, especially documents proving transaction value of goods as a basis for customs to determine customs value and tax.

Regarding the goods clearance time, because trade in goods through eCommerce tends to develop strongly, so the number of small shipments increases rapidly, the Customs authority needs modern technical solutions to speed up the customs clearance process, reducing risk of goods congestion at border gates.

Regarding advanced information of exported and imported goods, the customs authority will apply risk management to decide on customs inspection and supervision of exported and imported goods. To apply risk management in deciding on customs inspection and supervision, the customs authority needs to have advanced information about imported and exported goods. However, at present, the Customs does not receive advanced information on goods transacted via eCommerce (order information, shipping, payment) so the customs does not have sufficient grounds to decide on the exemption from inspection for imported and exported goods.

Regarding specialised management, there are no documents stipulating exemption from licensing, conditions and specialised inspection for exported and imported goods transacted via eCommerce, especially for individuals buying eCommerce goods with small quantity.

Individuals who purchase goods in small quantities for personal purposes still have to fully comply with regulations on licensing, conditions and specialised inspection as prescribed. Meanwhile, most of procedures for licensing, conditions and specialised inspection described by the relevant ministries and agencies, only the import-export organisations can meet them, which makes it difficult for the individual importers and exporters through eCommerce transactions.

The webinar continued to receive many comments on the draft Decree.
The webinar continued to receive many comments on the draft Decree.

Therefore, the draft decree aims to create a full legal corridor on management policies and regimes to ensure the efficiency of customs management and meet the requirements of administrative procedure reform. Contents in the draft are clear, transparent, in line with international practices. Accordingly, the implementation of customs procedures will be more simplified, transparent, convenient and consistent.

The draft decree has large groups of issues including: general provisions; regulations on system; the regulations on commodity management policies; regulations on tax administration; regulations on information provision related to orders, payment and transportation for exported and imported goods transacted via eCommerce; regulations on customs procedures; responsibilities of relevant agencies, organisations and individuals; and issues on terms of enforcement.

Around contents of the draft decree, at the webinar, the representatives of eCommerce trading floors, commercial banks, and payment intermediary service providers such as Amazon; Lazada; Napas, Citibank Commercial Joint Stock Bank; Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade have given comments on information exchange methods; tax-free norms and payment methods.

By N. Linh/ Huyen Trang