April 02, 2020 09:49

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Effects of Covid-19: Enterprises face difficulties due to no C/O form E to sumit before deadline

17:55 | 27/02/2020

VCN – Due to Covid-19, many import – export enterprises are facing difficulties because they don’t have C/O form E to submit before the deadline. This has caused a major impact on production schedules and business plans.

effects of covid 19 enterprises face difficulties due to no co form e to sumit before deadline
Import - export activities at Hai Phong port. Photo: N.Linh

According to Point b, Clause 1, Article 7 of Circular 38/2018/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance, ifthere is no certificate of origin of goods at the time of carrying out customs procedures, declarants should make additional declaration and submit documents certificate of origin within 30 days of the date of registration of customs declarations.

Besides that, based on Clause 3, Article 1, Circular 62/2019/TT-BTC dated September 5, 2019 amending and supplementing articles of Circular 38/2018/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance regulated the determination of the origin of export and import goods: “In case there is a document certifying the origin of goods at the time of carrying out the import procedures and the customs declarant fails to declare the reference number and the date of issuance or the case that there is no certificate of origin at the time of carrying out import procedures but the customs declarant did not declare late submission of certificate of origin on the import declaration as prescribed in Article 5 of this circular, the customs authorities would refuse the certificate of origin as prescribed.

“If the customs declarant fails to submit the certificate of origin as prescribed in Article 5 of this circular but the submission of additional declaration and certificate of origin exceed the limit as prescribed in Article 7 of this circular, the customs authority would reject the certificate of origin as prescribed.”

However, many businesses importing goods from China are struggling due to the impact of Covid-19 epidemic, causing enterprises to be unable to timely receive and submit C/O form E within the prescribed time limit to enjoy preferential tariffs. For example, in the case of VITECH Automation JSC, according to the company's import and export officer, the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic not only affects the delivery schedule businesses have signed with customers, but is also causing a major impact on preferential tariffs due to delays in submitting C/O. “Normally, after receiving goods, the Chinese partner would provide the C/O to businesses to enjoy preferential tariffs only a few days later. However, due to the impact of the disease, there were declarations opened in January 2020 that still have not received C/O for lodging to customs authorities. The reason was import declarations of equipment shipments were close to the Tet holiday in both Vietnam and China, along with the complex situation of the Covid-19 epidemic, so the company has not completed C/O for additional submission on time to request a tax refund. If the enterprise did not provide enough documents, they would have been subjected to the normal tariff rate. Meanwhile the contract with the buyer was calculated based on the preferential import price,” the officer of VITECH Automation JSC said. Facing the tough situation from the Covid-19 epidemic, VITECH Automation Joint Stock Company has proposed Customs authorities have a solution to support businesses to extend the time to supplement C/O to March 15, 2020.

Similar to the above case, KINGSMEN Vietnam Co., Ltd. implemented procedures for importing a shipment on January 20 and requested additional submission of the C/O within 30 days since the date of registration declaration. Therefore, the deadline for additional submission of the C/O form E would be the end of February 19, 2020. However, according to the company's reflection, as the Chinese partner had a long Tet holiday (the original schedule is re-operation on February 10, 2020) and due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Chinese party had to take a longer break that was expected to return to work on February 20, 2020, and even this calendar has not been confirmed. Therefore, enterprises could not supplement C/O form E on time. Enterprises requested Customs extend time for additional submission of C/O form E in 30 days.

The Vietnam Industrial Manufacturing and Export Processing CompanyLimited (VMEP) imported components for motorcycle production from China and applied for additional submission of C/O form E within 30 days (including two import declarations with the latest deadline of February 12, 2020 and nine import declarations with the latest deadline of February 15, 2020). However, the company was also "trapped" by the current epidemic situation, the Chinese government was trying to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic by extending the Tet holiday. Therefore, the company's partner would send the C/O to the company later than stipulated. Therefore, VMEP would like to extend the deadline for the additional submission of C/O until February 28.

Similar to the above enterprises, Signify Vietnam Co., Ltd opened a declaration for importing two consignments of lighting equipment and components from China and applied for the additional submission of C/O form E due to the time of opening the declaration being close to the Tet holiday of both Vietnam and China, hence the partners could not complete the C/O form E to send to the company. According to regulations, enterprises must supplement the C/O form E for the above declarations before February 16 and February 12, 2020 to consider for a tax refund. However, the Chinese partner did not timely apply for a C/O form E and even the time for sending C/O via express delivery service from China to HCM City was affected. Thus the company could not receive C/O before the deadline for additional submission. Facing such difficulties, businesses also requested the General Department of Vietnam Customs issue guidance and support businesses in terms of the deadline for C/O submission due to the impact of Covid-19 epidemic, approving the extension of C/O form E submission.

Customs continue grasping and receiving suggestions of enterprises

Facing the problems of enterprises due to the impact of the coronavirus in China, the representative of the Customs Supervision and Control Department said that the General Department of Vietnam Customs has been grasping the problems of enterprises to propose remedies to the Ministry of Finance.

If the Chinese side did not promptly provide C/O to Vietnamese enterprises due to the virus, customs authorities would propose to allow delays of more than 30 days, and they would consider the length of the delay.

However, according to the representative of the Customs Supervision and Control Department, through discussion with the Chinese authorities, it showed that the authority in charge of granting C/O carried out the procedures. Hence, the problems of enterprises may be due to lacking human resources of Chinese enterprises, or affected by the ban on movement and blockades leading to the fact that enterprises could not implement procedures. It resulted in the delay of providing certificates of origin.

Customs News would continue updating the information from competent authorities, helping businesses grasp and resolve problems as soon as possible.

By Ngọc Linh/Thanh Thuy