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Need to amend the policy on management of low-value goods sent via express delivery services

10:51 | 21/07/2021

VCN - According to the Hanoi Customs Department, in recent years, especially in the first six months of 2021, with the development of goods sent via air and the development of e-commerce, goods transacted through online payment using express delivery service skyrocketed, in which goods are mainly low-value imported items. In the first six months of 2021, there are about 35 million declarations, increasing by six times compared to the first six months in 2020 and about 15 times in the first six months of 2019.

the development of goods transported by air, imported goods in general and imported goods transacted by online method using express delivery services are spiked, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.. Source: Internet
the development of goods transported by air, imported goods in general and imported goods transacted by online method using express delivery services are spiked, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.. Source: Internet

The volume of goods increased dramatically

Hanoi Customs Department has two customs branches in charge of customs procedures for express delivery goods, which are Hanoi Express Customs Branch and Gia Thuy Customs Customs Branch, which manage six gathering, inspection and supervision locations. At these locations, there are 23 firms engaging in express delivery service (either location owners or warehouse tenants) registered to operate.

According to Hanoi Customs Department, due to the trend of globalisation, the development of cross-border e-commerce, the development of goods transported by air, imported goods in general and imported goods transacted by online method using express delivery services are spiked, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides efforts to satisfy the needs of quick and convenient cargo clearance, in the process of conducting inspection and management of this type, the Hanoi Customs Department believed there were still some difficulties that were needed to be removed.

According to Circular 191/2015/TT-BTC, as amended and supplemented in Circular 56/2019/TT-BTC, customs dossiers and procedures for low-value import goods sent by express delivery service is very simple (only including low-value import declaration, bill of lading or other transport documents of equivalent value, commercial invoice). However, VNACCS/VCIS system does not have enough information, leading to insufficient information for customs officials to check and compare goods names, customs values, item policies, tracking and identifying key objects to apply appropriate management measures.

Per Clause 2, Article 29 of Decree 134/2016/ND-CP, as amended and supplemented in Clause 11 Article 1 of Decree 18/2021/ND-CP, if imported goods are sent via postal or express delivery services with a customs value of VND 1,000,000 or less or having a payable tax amount of VND 100,000 or less, it will be exempt from import duties. This regulation does not limit the number of times/units of time that an organisation or individual is exempted from tax as the tax exemption for gifts or tax exemption for luggage is within the norms of aircraft operators and flight attendants working on the international flights. Therefore, at Hanoi Express Customs Branch, there were cases where the same organisation, individual, one phone number opened many import customs declarations of low-value goods in a short period of time.

In addition, the VASSCM system serving for postal and express delivery locations has not been implemented. The customs supervision of exported and imported goods brought in, stored, and brought out of the warehouse or location was not connected with the customs electronic data processing system. Hence it was done manually by customs officials.

In addition, for goods that are low value, many individuals and organisations do not accept to pay tax, do not want or goods samples are not eligible for specialised inspection, so they refused to receive the goods. As a consequence, at express warehouses, they usually face a large number of backlogged goods. Customs authorities must arrange resources to monitor and work with the Department of Finance and specialised agencies to handle.

It is necessary to amend and supplement legal regulations in accordance with reality

From problems encountered in the inspection and supervision process for express goods, the Hanoi Customs Department believed that it might have potential risks for low-value goods sending via express delivery service. Individuals, organisations and firms providing express delivery services can take advantage of relevant policies to divide and separate goods for tax evasion, without carrying out specialised inspection procedures. Goods are imported in small quantities and in very large quantities. The main importers are individuals and organisations which do not have tax codes, declare less information, etc. These are difficulties in determining the risks to manage and carry out inspection, post-clearance audit and handling issues after inspection.

To ensure conditions for customs inspection and supervision, anti-smuggling, against trade fraud and create favourable conditions for businesses, according to Hanoi Customs Department, it is necessary to amend and supplement legal regulations to be appropriate with the practice and to promote progress of formulation and submission to the Government for promulgating the decree on the management of e-commerce activities for imported and exported goods. In particular, stipulating customs procedures should be simple and fast, ensuring management of the Customs authorities, correctly and fully collecting import and export duties, and stopping trade fraud. Parties involved in e-commerce transactions must send in advance to the Customs Management System the information on orders, information on transportation of export and import shipments transacted via e-commerce.

At the same time, submitting to the Government for promulgation the decree on State inspection of quality and food safety. In particular, clearly stipulating the order of procedures to be carried out at the Customs authority, cases of exemption from inspection and inspection methods. Amending and supplementing Decree No. 134/2016/ND-CP, Decree No. 18/2021/ND-CP. In particular, stipulating tax exemption rates for goods sent via express delivery service (including value, minimum tax amount and number of times/units of time an organisation or individual is exempt from tax). Amending and supplementing Decree No. 128/2020/ND-CP, which stipulates that the subject which is subjected to sanction administrative violation, is a firm operating express delivery service in the case of declaring customs declaration for low-value goods on behalf of the owner of the goods.

It is necessary to amend and supplement Circular No. 191/2015/TT-BTC, Circular No. 56/2019/TT BTC towards improving the responsibility of firm providing express delivery service; thoroughly apply risk management so that Customs officials can focus on inspecting and supervising key subjects, consignments and goods showing signs of violations (banned goods, weapons, drugs). Amending and supplementing Circular No. 203/2014/TT-BTC, in which simplifies the order and procedures for handling backlogged goods. Besides obligations of the firm operating location and express delivery service in handling backlog goods and taking responsibility for paying all costs.

Hanoi Customs Department also proposed General Department of Vietnam Customs guide and issue the process; upgrade the system of customs operations, equipped with material and technical facilities to ensure the management of goods sent via express delivery services.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy