VCN - Regulations on Customs procedures for goods in transit and transhipped goods are important contents in the draft Decree amending and supplementing 08/2015/ND-CP.
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Activities at Hai Phong port: Photo: La Diu
Concept of two types must be clarified
Mr. Nguyen Duong Thai stated that the amendment to regulations on transhipped goods and goods in transit originated from actual requirements and direction of the Government to remove problems for international trade, but there would be regulations to hide these loopholes in management for these types.
Analyzing the actual requirements for an amendment to the current regulations, Deputy Director of Customs Control and Supervision Department Nguyen Nhat Kha said that the current regulations had not specified transhipped goods and goods in transit in the Customs management, causing the inconsistent implementation of Customs procedures. On the other hand, Commercial Law and other legal nominative documents also had not clarified the transshipment activity.
In addition, for transit routes, under a provision in Clause 2, Article 243 of the Commercial Law, the Ministry of Transportation is appointed to stipule the transit routes. At present, the Ministry of Transport issued Circular No. 16/2017 / TT-BGTVT regulating specific routes (road, railway, waterway). Couples of border gates allowing the transit of goods are also regulated in Vietnam - China, Vietnam - Cambodia, Vietnam - Laos transit agreements.
Thus, according to Customs Control and Supervision Department, specific regulations to distinguish the transhipped goods and goods in transit must be issued to ensure the nature of them as well as the management for these goods and facilitate the implementation.
It is expected that, the Vietnam Customs shall specify the concept: the transhipped goods is goods moving from overseas to Vietnam to be transported to intermediate areas at a seaport and then transported to another country from this seaport or transported by inland waterway and seaway to intermediate areas at different seaports to transport to the country of destination. The transhipped goods is transported wholly or partly to the country of destination. Seaports for transshipment of goods are seaports type IA and HCMC port. Accordingly, goods transported from oversea across the Vietnam territory to another country shall abide by regulations for goods in transit.
Obstacles in commodity policy
Regarding the commodity policy, Mr. Kha also noted that the implementation is facing obstacles due to unspecific regulations. Article 40 of Decree 187/2013 / ND-CP stipulates goods in transit but also includes transhipped goods. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 241 of the Commercial Law, transhipped goods is also governed by Article 40 of Decree 187/2013 / ND-CP.
Moreover, joint Circular No. 08/2004 / TTLT-BTM-BTC-BGTVT stipulates goods which are banned from transhipment at Vietnam's seaports including: weapons, ammunition and explosive materials, military technical equipment; drugs; atomic waste and toxic chemicals on the list of toxic chemicals prohibited from import and export according to the provisions of Vietnamese law. Accordingly, pursuant to the above provisions, in addition to goods which is not transhipped under the provisions of Circular 08/2004 / TTLT-BTM-BTC-BGTVT, for transhipped goods in the list of goods specified in Clause 3 of Article 40 of Decree 187/2013 / ND-CP must be licensed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
However, there is, in fact, a difference in the nature of transhipped goods and goods in transit. Goods in transit is goods of foreign owners who sign contracts with logistic companies for transportation of goods across Vietnam’s territory. For the case where the goods are on the list of goods subject to transit permits in line with the Article 40 of Decree 187/2013 / ND-CP, the Ministry of Industry and Trade shall grant permits at the request of foreign owners. Furthermore, goods in transit must comply with bilateral or multilateral agreements between Vietnam and other countries.
Transhipped goods is goods transported from overseas to Vietnam by logistic companies and stored at an intermediate area at a seaport, then directly transported to the country of destination or to another seaport to a country of destination. The transshipment is based on a business plan and ship operation of logistic companies (transhipped goods on entry and exit at seaports). Hence, the Customs Control and Supervision Department expected stated that management policy for goods in transit and transhipped goods is stipulated in this Decree to ensure the nature of each type.
At the conference, many participants agreed with the plan amending Decree 08/2015 / ND-CP towards separating the two types and applying different management policies. A representative of Saigon Newport Corporation said that the restriction on transit routes in Article 44 of Decree No. 08/2015 / ND-CP reduced the advantages and potentials of transshipment. Although the Prime Minister has already issued a document to remove part of restrictions, it has not applied due to the obstacles on the application for a permit.
Representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Transportation also supported the opinions on the draft. However, representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the General Department of Customs should continue to hold another conference to unify contents that are included in the Decree amending and supplementing Decree 08/2015 / ND-CP and contents that are included in the Decree amending Decree 187/2013 / ND-CP, especially those relating to the concept of goods in transit, transhipped goods and accompanying commodity policy.
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VCN - Concepts of transshipment and transit of goods and Customs procedures for these two types will ...
After listening to the specific opinions of participants on each article and clause in the draft, Deputy General Director Nguyen Duong Thai said that he would continue to receive contributed opinions to improve the content of the draft decree in the spirit of removing obstacles to promote transit and transshipment. It is expected that the General Department of Customs will report to the Ministry of Finance to ask for appraisal opinions from the Ministry of Justice by the end of August 2017 and finalize in September to be presented to members of Government.
The transit activities during the past time mainly took place in the HCMC Customs Department, Tay Ninh Customs Department, Hai Phong Customs Department, Lao Cai Customs Department, An Giang Customs Department and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department. Goods in transit mainly included: raw material wood, cigarettes, iron ore, copper ore, recycled plastic scrap, laptops, iPhone, electronic components, steel, fertilizer, cotton, fabric, ceramic tiles, medicine. In the process of carrying out Customs procedures for goods in transit, Customs authorities have detected some violation cases. From 2014 to 2017, the HCMC Customs Department has discovered 12 cases; Binh Phuoc Customs Department detected 1 violation; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department has detected 3 cases.
The transshipment mainly took place in the HCMC Customs Department and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department. During the implementation of Customs procedures, Customs authorities have not discovered any violation cases.
By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang