Focusing on reforming and facilitating businesses when amending customs policies

VCN - In the draft circular replacing Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC regulating customs procedures, customs supervision and inspection; export duty, import duty and tax administration applied to exports and imports and Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC amendments to Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015, of the Minister of Finance, the regulations on checking valuation and post-clearance audit will have many new points.
Professional activities of customs officers at Thuy An Customs Branch – Thua Thien Hue Customs Department. Photo: N.Linh
Professional activities of customs officers at Thuy An Customs Branch – Thua Thien Hue Customs Department. Photo: N.Linh

Making specific regulations on customs valuation

According to Deputy Director of the Customs Control and Supervision Department Dao Duy Tam, the current regulations allows that in case there are enough grounds to reject the valuation when carrying out customs procedures, customs authority will ask the customs declarant to make additional declarations as the basis for cargo clearance following regulations. However, if the customs declarant does not make additional declarations, the customs authority will impose duty and reject the value.

In addition, in the case of questions about the declared value, the customs authority will notify the customs declarant to conduct consultations with the customs authority, and then the customs authority will take that basis to carry out the clearance procedure. However, the implementation process has encountered problems because the consultation has not been uniformly implemented. The Customs authority did not apply risk management in checking valuation, leading to many valuation declarations and many businesses being consulted on prices, resulting in the situation that one item was consulted many times, increasing the workload for the customs authority.

Therefore, in this draft circular, regulations related to checking customs valuation will have many new points to overcome the shortcomings. For example, in terms of consultation, the Circular draft supplements that indirect consultation will be applied to enterprises ranked from 1st to 4th grade; enterprises ranked from 5th to 9th will be applied direct consultation (ranked by risk management), supplementing more documents related to the valuation determination.

Regarding the handling of consultation results, the draft Circular stipulates: in the case of direct consultation, if the declared value and the customs valuation, which the customs officer determines have a difference, the customs declarant is requested to make an explanation, supplement and present documents to prove. If there are sufficient grounds for rejection, the declared value shall be rejected; If there are not enough grounds for rejection, the declared value will be accepted.

According to the Drafting Board, the cases of rejection of the declared value include: customs declarant applying customs valuation method incorrectly; customs declarant cannot explain the difference between the customs valuation determined by the customs officer and the declared value when applying the same valuation method; the customs declarant does not carry out consultation procedures; failing to provide, present documents or provide false documents compare with the goods; did not sign the minutes of direct consultation.

Notably, this draft circular abolishes the provision of one-time consultation, using the results several times. In addition, it regulates specifically customs valuation of the lent goods. The draft stipulates that the customs valuation of lent goods imports is the entire value of the imported goods up to the first importing checkpoint, including the value of the lent goods and the cost of bringing the lent goods to the first importing checkpoint.

Avoiding duplication in post-clearance audit

According to the Drafting Board, the new regulations on the post-clearance audit are focused on issues such as regulations on information collection and processing; procedures for suspending post-clearance audits; processing test results; avoiding duplication when organizing post-clearance audits; at the same time, it stipulates more clearly the area of declarations ​​management and registration.

Regarding information collection, the draft provides regulations that must be made in a written document, make working minutes, and make a delivery record. The draft circular stipulates the procedure for suspending a post-clearance audit for two cases: temporary suspension when having not conducted a post-clearance audit yet and suspending during a post-clearance audit.

For the case of temporary suspension when having not conducted the post-clearance audit, the customs declarant is under examination, inspection and investigation by Customs, Taxation, Inspectorate, State Audit, and Police; or because of force majeure events.

For the case of temporary suspension during the post-clearance audit, it applies to the following cases: to carry out verification and investigation at relevant agencies, organizations and individuals; due to force majeure events or other objective factors affecting the time of inspection or customs declarant requests a temporary suspension to handle or remedy problems caused by force majeure events or other objective factors affecting the time of inspection.

Regarding handling post-clearance audit results, the draft circular clearly outlines specific cases in handling post-clearance audit results to help enterprises take the initiative in coordinating to handle audit results.

In addition, there will be specific regulations on this issue to avoid overlapping post-clearance audit activities. For example, in case of detecting signs of violation of inspected contents or violations but there is no conclusion on signs of violation, the unit detecting signs of violation shall report it to the General Department of Vietnam Customs for consideration and assign inspection unit as prescribed in Clause 1, Article 78 of the Law on Customs. In the case of conducting a post-clearance audit as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 78 of the Law on Customs, the customs authority must not duplicate the contents and scope of the post-clearance audit when conducting an on-site inspection. In case of conducting a post-clearance audit as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 78 of the Law on Customs, the customs authority shall follow the annual post-clearance audit plan promulgated by the Director General of Vietnam Customs.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy

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