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The General Department of Vietnam Customs clarifies issues regarding export of face masks

08:12 | 02/04/2020

VCN - The General Department of Vietnam Customs sent an express document to the Government Office to report some issues related to the procedure of exporting masks. In the report, the General Department of Vietnam Customs requested the Ministry of Health to clarify whether the face masks that meet TCVN 8389: 2010 but not presented circulation numbers could be exported.

the general department of vietnam customs clarifies issues regarding export of face masks
illustration image. Source: Internet

Previously, the General Department of Vietnam Customs received feedback from the Ministry of Industry and Trade on March 30, 2020 in the press on the export of regular masks, which were facing some difficulties from the Customs authorities in the process of resolving cargo clearance procedures, affecting the manufacturing and business activities of the enterprise.

To clarify the problem, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has reported to the Government Office on the implementation of export procedures for face masks.

Accordingly, implementing the Government's Resolution No. 20/NQ-CP dated February 28, 2020, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued Official Letter No. 1431/TCHQ-GSQL dated March 9, 2020 directing provincial Customs Departments: carrying out physical inspection of exported consignments declared as non-surgical masks (HS code 63079090); compared with the standards of surgical masks TCVN 8389-2010 published by the Ministry of Science and Technology to determine the actual goods.

Through physical inspection, if customs officials do not have sufficient grounds to identify goods as masks not used in medicine, they may request assessment at the Institute of Medical Equipment and Facilities (the Ministry of Health) or inspection organisations that fully meet the conditions for conducting examination of surgical masks as prescribed to determine the category of exported goods.

On March 11, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued Decision No. 868/QD-BYT, stipulating that the surgical mask eligible for export license by the Ministry of Health must meet two conditions: acquiring minimum standard that meet TCVN 8389-1: 2010; TCVN 8389-2: 2010; TCVN 8389-3: 2010 and has a circulation number.

On March 27, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued Official Letter No. 1657/BYT-TB-CT titled "Ministry of Finance to direct competent units to carry out the procedures for exporting surgical masks complied the provisions of the Decree. Decision 20/NQ-CP of the Government”.

On March 26, 2020, the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) issued Official Letter 309/XNK-CN stating “Representative of the Ministry of Health said that only face masks that meet the above two conditions would be considered surgical masks. Currently, the Ministry of Health has put the database of circulation registration of face masks on the National Single Window System. Customs authority can access this system to check.”

Regarding the customs authority, through the enterprises' reflection on the process of exporting masks and opinions of the ministries, in order to simplify export procedures, on March 27, 2020, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued document No. 2012/TCHQ-GSQL assigning the Risk Management Department, the provincial Customs Departments to assess risks by only selecting suspected shipments to conduct physical inspection of goods, especially shipments exported by exporters that are not manufacturers.

During the physical inspection of goods, customs officials should directly supervise the goods if there were not enough signs as complied with the surgical mask standards of TCVN8389-2010, then carrying out customs clearance.

In case of detecting signs complying with standards but declaring that were other face masks (not surgical masks), customs officials would take samples and assess at the Institute of Medical Equipment and Facilities or inspection organisations fully meeting conditions for surgical mask assessment in accordance with regulations.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said they directed the local Customs Department to review the customs procedures to ensure facilitation; customs officials who commit violations and cause harassment would be temporarily suspended to review their responsibilities.

So far, the problems related to the customs inspection of face masks of enterprise have been resolved, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has not received any comments reflecting any other problems of the enterprise.

Besides that, in order to avoid arising problems, in the document of the General Department of Vietnam Customs proposed: according to Article 2 of Decision No. 868/QD-BYT dated March 11, 2020 of the Ministry of Health and Official Letter No. 309/XNK-CN dated March 26, 2020 of the Import-Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, only masks meeting the two conditions: Having a minimum standard of TCVN 8389-1: 2010; TCVN 8389-2: 2010; TCVN 8389-3: 2010 and has a circulation number would be considered as surgical mask. However, in the TCVN 8389-1: 2010 on surgical masks published by the Ministry of Science and Technology does not require circulation.

In order to avoid difficulties in the process of carrying out export procedures for shipment of face masks, the General Department of Vietnam Customs requested the Ministry of Health to clarify: whether the face masks that meet TCVN 8389: 2010 but not presented circulation numbers could be exported.

By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy