On 27th May 2020, the Ministry of Finance released new Circular no. 47/2020/TT-BTC (“The Circular”) which provides new guidance on the timeline for submission of Certificate of Origin (“C/O”) as well as the manner of C/O submission during the outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19). The Circular takes effect from 23rd January 2020, and is applied to all customs declaration registered from then until further notice.
Circular no. 47/2020/TT-BTC provides notable content as follows:
1. Deadline for C/O submission
Companies can still apply the special-preferential tariff for their imports if C/O is not available at the time of performing customs import procedure. According to this new regulation, companies are allowed to submit C/O at any time – even after Customs clearance – if the C/O is still in effective period (normally 12 months since the date of issuance). The current regulation only allowed late submission of C/O within a period of 30 days from the date of registering the customs declaration form (except C/O Form VK/KV and Form EAV).
It should be noted that late submission of C/O is only allowed if companies have already declared the late-submission of C/O in the customs declaration form at import stage (i.e. at the time they carry out customs import procedure without C/O in hand). At import stage, they must declare and calculate customs duty based on the preferential duty rate (MFN rate) first, and later when C/O is supplemented, they can make amended declaration to re-calculate duty based on special-preferential duty rate, together with requesting for duty refund (or offset), if any.
2. C/O submission
a. In case C/O is required for the application of special-preferential tariff
In addition to the prevailing regulations, customs authority now also accept C/O issued and submitted in following manners:
- C/O with electronic signature & seal.
- Scan or photo of C/O.
Requirement: The competent authorities of exporting country must have official announcement on the issuance and use of C/O in those above manners, and must provide a link to their website containing information of the issued C/O or provide another method for the customs authority of importing countries and relevant authorities to check and verify the validity of those C/O.
In this regard, on 29th April 2020, the General Department of Customs issued the official letter no. 3480/TCHQ-GSQL providing detailed guidance to provincial customs departments regarding the checking and verification of C/O using e-signature and e-seal.
b. In case the import is special commodity of which C/O is mandatory at import stage according to Annex II of Circular no. 38/2018/TT-BTC
Companies are allowed to use the scan or photo of C/O for customs declaration, and are responsible for the accuracy and validity of the submitted C/O. Customs authority shall verify the origin and make decision of clearance based on such scanned C/O together with customs dossier and other information.
Within 180 days since the date of registering customs declaration form, companies/declarants must submit the original C/O to customs authority.
We do trust the above points are notable and sufficient, but should you have any questions or need a deeper discussion on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.