Managing goods trading via e-commerce exchange

VCN – To manage goods trading via e-commerce exchange and sent via express delivery services, the Customs authority is launching transportation bill for goods sent via express delivery service for enterprises and e-commerce exchanges.
Managing goods trading via e-commerce exchange
HCM City Customs officers check imported goods via express delivery service. Photo: T.H

According to HCM City Customs Department, implementing the directives of the General Department of Vietnam Customs on a transportation bill for goods sent via express delivery, HCM City Customs Department held a conference to disseminate to enterprises operating express delivery services and e-commerce sites; requesting enterprises operating express delivery services to issue a bill of lading and house bill of lading as prescribed at Article 130, Article 131, Article 141 of Vietnam Civil Aviation Law.

However, during implementation, there were some problems that need to be solved. According to the provisions of Clause 7 Article 5 of Circular No. 191/2015/TT-BTC dated November 24, 2015, as amended and supplemented in Circular No. 56/2019/TT-BTC dated August 23, 2019 of the Ministry of Finance: “Based on the information provided by the sender, the enterprise shall declare information about the house bill of lading specified in Clauses 1 and 2, Article 3 of Circular 50/2018/TT-BTC dated May 23, 2018 of the Minister of Finance promulgating the information criteria, declaration forms when carrying out exit, entry and transit procedures for vehicles passing through the border gate by air, by sea, railway, road and river border gate in accordance with the provisions of Decree No. 59/2018/ND-CP dated April 20, 2018 of the Government through the customs electronic data processing system before unloading goods from means of entry into the warehouse.”

For express delivery businesses, it will not be possible to fully declare the information to house bill of lading information as prescribed above. Therefore, HCM City Customs Department recommended that for express delivery businesses, the declaration of information of bills of lading and house bills of lading must comply with Article 130, Article 131, Article 141 of Vietnam Civil Aviation Law.

Regarding regulations on customs procedures and tax policies for goods purchased and sold through e-commerce exchange and sent via express delivery service, HCM City Customs Department said that, at present, there is no regulations on customs procedures and tax policies for goods purchased and sold through e-commerce exchanges.

Therefore, for goods purchased and sold through e-commerce and sent via express delivery services that are carrying out customs procedures following Circular No. 191/2015/TT-BTC. November 24, 2015; amended and supplemented in Circular No. 56/2019/TT-BTC dated August 23, 2019 of the Minister of Finance.

Accordingly, imported goods with low customs valuation (VND1 million or less) are exempt from import duty as prescribed in Decree No. 134/2016/ND-CP dated September 1, 2016, as amended, supplemented in Decree No. 18/2021/ND-CP dated March 11, 2021 of the Government and exempted from VAT under Decision No. 78/2010/QD-TTg dated November 23, 2010 of the Prime Minister.

However, representatives of Than Toc Technology Joint Stock Company and Recess Co., Ltd (Lazada) said that express delivery companies in Vietnam signed contracts with customs broker service for Lazada, Shopee, and Tiki when goods are imported to Vietnam.

By reviewing the invoices for buying and selling goods through the e-commerce exchange provided by the courier companies, the delivery condition of the transaction is DDP (delivery duty paid), showing that the seller will bear the responsibility on the duties of taxes, costs and risks until the delivery of the goods to the buyer. In other words, the ownership of the goods only passes from the seller to the buyer at the address specified by the buyer.

Buyers in Vietnam buy goods and pay directly to Lazada, Shopee, Tiki in Vietnam (payment via domestic beneficiary accounts) should transact between Lazada, Shopee, Tiki and the buyer is a domestic trade transaction.

Thus, at the time of importation, the ownership of the goods belongs to e-commerce products Lazada, Shopee, Tiki and other courier companies who only act as customs brokers to carry out import procedures. At the time of importation, the ownership of the goods does not yet belong to the buyer, so the courier service companies cannot represent the buyer to carry out import procedures, so they cannot open the customs declaration for low-value goods.

From the above fact, HCM City Customs Department proposed the General Department of Vietnam Customs provide guidance for goods purchased and sold through the e-commerce exchange and sent via the express delivery services as mentioned above to be allowed to go through customs procedures under the provisions of Circular No. 191/2015/TT BTC dated November 24, 2015; amended and supplemented in Circular No. 56/2019/TT-BTC dated August 23, 2019 of the Minister of Finance and is exempt from import tax as prescribed in Decree No. 134/2016/ND-CP on September 1, 2016; amended and supplemented in Decree No. 18/2021/ND-CP dated March 11, 2021 of the Government and exempted from VAT following the Decision No. 78/2010/QD-TTg dated November 23, 2010 of the Prime Minister or not.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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