Unify goods classification for fish oil, EFA/DHA, omega supplements

VCN - The General Department of Vietnam Customs has requested Customs Departments of provinces and cities to check dossiers and documents to unify the classification of goods for fish oil, omega supplements and EFA/DHA.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, based on current regulations and legal annotations of chapter 15, chapter 21, heading 15.04, heading 15.16, heading 15.17, heading 21.06; detailed HS annotation of chapter 15, chapter 21; collection of WTO classification opinions and opinions of the World Customs Secretariat.

Accordingly, some items declared as fish oil, health food/omega-3 supplements; EPA/DHA can be classified into different groups depending on the finished product, content, level of processing and production process.

illustration image. Source: Internet
illustration image. Source: Internet

In cases that an item that is identified as fish oil, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified, the item usually has a characteristic fishy odor, with unpleasant taste, and a color that varies from yellow to reddish brown is classified in heading 15.04. If the item is determined as fish oil, partly or wholly hydrogenated, inter-esterified, re-esterfied or elaidinised, whether or not refined, but not further prepared belongs to heading 15.16.

Where the item is determined to be fish oil, whether or not hydrogenated but has been processed by emulsification, kneading to change the texture or the item is identified as edible mixtures/preparations of fish oil with other animal or vegetable oils, fall under heading 15.17.

In case that the item has the nature of ethyl esters, which are produced from fish oil by the complete substitution of the glycerin base by the ethyl base, come under heading 21.06.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said that the above items contain gelatin to act as capsule shells and vitamin E can be added to act as antioxidants, provided these supplements do not change the nature of fish oil and fish oil blends.

The General Department of Customs requested the Customs Departments of provinces and cities to base on dossiers, technical documents, production processes of manufacturers, and actual imported goods for goods classification.

In case there are not enough grounds to determine the accuracy of the goods classification of the customs declarant, samples shall be taken to request analysis and classification of goods.

By Nụ Bùi/Thanh Thuy

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