Many new points of customs procedures take effect formally

Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC amending and supplementing Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC on the customs procedures; the customs inspection and supervision; export tax, import tax and tax administration for the export and import goods has...

Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC amending and supplementing Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC on the customs procedures; the customs inspection and supervision; export tax, import tax and tax administration for the export and import goods has taken effect from June 5th, 2018.

Because of many new points having a direct impact on the business community and Customs, the General Department of Customs has been keeping abreast of the implementation of the Circular for processing timely.

According to the members of the Circular drafting committee, during the drafting process, determining the importance and content of the draft Circular relating to the ministries, branches, localities and community of enterprises, the General Department of Customs carried out seriously the necessary activities for the elaboration of the draft Circular in accordance with the Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents and the Decree No. 34/2016/ND-CP detailing a number of articles and measures to implement the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents. At the same time, organized some scientific seminars with the participation of leaders, civil servants of local customs departments, the enterprises, scientists, the officials working in the concerned agencies and organizations to discuss the orientations and basic contents of the Circular.

Most recently, in May 2018, the entire contents of Circular were organized by the General Department of Customs to train the customs officers and the enterprises in the Northern, Central and Southern regions. According to a member of the drafting committee, in the process of training on the Circular, the questions of enterprises were guided and answered promptly. Currently, when Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC has come into force, the General Department of Customs continues to monitor the implementation situation in the localities to answer and handle timely.

Especially, the General Department of Customs is planning to set up a Team to support the implementation of Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC in order to respond and handle promptly any problems that may arise during the implementation of the new Circular for the business community and the customs officers carrying out directly the customs procedures nationwide.

Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC includes 5 articles (Article 1 amending and supplementing some articles of the Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC; Article 2 of the abolition; Article 3 Transitional Provisions; Article 4 Implementation responsibilities, Article 5, Implementation Effectiveness) and 5 Appendices with many new contents based on the study and application of trade facilitation measures as well as in order to conform with the changes in the international trade practices and to meet the requirements of customs management as well as the handling of bottlenecks in the implementation of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC.

Some new points related to customs dossiers, customs declarations and customs declarations are as follows:

New regulations related to the customs dossiers

Firstly, the method of e-customs filing will become the main mode of customs filing. The customs dossiers will be submitted under electronic form by the customs declarers (scanned with digital signatures) at the time of the customs declaration registration. As such, the customs declarers do not need to prepare the customs dossiers in paper form and bring them to the customs offices for submission as now.

Secondly, to distinguish the specific customs dossier which the customs declarers need to submit to the customs offices when carrying out the customs procedures with the customs dossier which the customs declarers need to keep at the customs offices to present when the Customs offices carry out inspection and examination. Accordingly, the customs dossier submitted when carrying out the customs procedures only include the documents providing the minimum necessary information for the customs administration, not all documents related to the export-import goods. This new regulation ensures transparency and minimizes the costs and manpower for both the businesses and the Customs in the preparation of the customs dossiers and inspection of the customs dossiers.

New regulations related to the customs declaration

In order to ensure consistency in the declaration and electronicization of the e-customs procedure implementation further, with the customs declaration principles stipulated in Article 19 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC, the Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC supplements some principles such as:

Firstly, a bill of lading must be declared on an import customs declaration. If a bill of lading is declared for many customs declarations, the customs declarer shall notify the separation of the bill of lading with the Customs office before registering the customs declaration. If the import goods are not accompanied by bills of lading, the customs declarers shall take the goods management numbers through the e-customs data processing system before making customs declaration.

Secondly, if the goods belong to the different export customs declarations of a goods owner, which are packed in the same container or the same means of transport, the customs declarers shall have to notify the information on the goods which have been packed in the same container or the same means of transport, through the Customs e-customs data processing system before carrying out customs clearance procedures.

Thirdly, the export-import goods subject to permits of the specialized management agencies must have the permits at the time of registration of customs declarations and make full declaration of permits on the concerned customs declarations..

Fourthly, if the goods are sent in the wrong way, or in excess of the goods purchasing contracts, the customs declarers shall make additional declarations or refuse to receive the goods according to regulations.

Fifthly, if the customs declarer’s e-customs system fails to fulfill the e-customs procedures, the customs declarers want to continue carrying out the customs procedures, the customs declarers shall issue documents to notify the Customs Sub-Departments where the customs procedures plan to be carried out for customs declaration and the mode of customs declaration while overcoming the problems.

New regulations relating to supplementary declaration, cancellation of customs declaration, change of use purpose

One of the major changes in the implementation of the supplementary declaration is that the additional declaration procedure is done entirely through the System, without submitting a proposal in paper form as now. In addition, in order to clarify the additional declaration procedures for each additional declaration situation in line with the international trade practices and the characteristics of each commodity line, Article 20 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC was modified and supplemented according to the following direction: To distinguish in detail the cases where the customs declarers themselves have detected errors and have been declared additionally in the customs clearance and made the additional declaration after the goods were cleared; To supplement the additional declaration procedures for special cases such as: the export or import goods were purchased in whole plots, whole ships and were agreed about tolerances on quantity and commercial level of goods; sending in excess, wrong goods; Missing goods and goods that have not been taken or a part of goods have been taken out of the customs supervision area…

New points for cancellation of declarations are that the import declaration is only canceled if 15 days have elapsed since the date of registration of the customs declaration but no goods arrived at the border gate. In addition, the Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC added some cases of canceling the declaration to match the actual transactions of the importer and importers and the new regulations in Decree No. 59/2018/ND-CP such as: the registered customs declaration, the goods subject to the license of the specialized management agency but not having a permit at the time of declaration registration; the export customs declaration has cleared or released the goods but it had not actually exported the goods… The procedure for destroying the customs declaration is also made completely on the System instead of the current paper certificate.

With regard to changing the purpose of use and transfer of domestic consumption stipulated in Article 21 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC, Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC guides some new points as follows: In cases where the goods are raw materials or supplies constituting the products, when changing their use purposes or transferring to domestic consumption, the customs declarers shall declare the initial raw materials, supplies and finished products at the separate lines on the declaration, shall calculate the tax on initial raw materials and supplies, and the commodity policy shall be applied to finished products under the provisions of specialized law; For cases of change of use purposes by transferring to the subjects belong to non taxation, or tax exemption, the transferees shall have to register the customs declarations according to regulations but shall not have to pay tax.

New regulations related to the distribution of customs declarations

The electronic customs data processing system receives, inspects, registers and distributes the customs declarations for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and responds to the distribution result of customs declarations right after the customs declarations are registered successfully. However, based on the updated information at the time the goods are exported or imported to the border gate, if the information on distribution changes compared to the time of registration of the customs declaration, the system itself shall handle and notify the resulting change of distribution of the customs declarations to the customs declarers.

The transitional provisions relating to the customs declaration in Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC are as follows: In cases where the e-customs data processing system is having trouble or is not functioning to meet the requirements of transmission of electronic information under this Circular, the customs declarants and the Customs offices shall carry out the relevant procedures on the paper dossiers.

Detail in Circular 39/2018 TT-BTC at


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