THE GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF CUSTOMS
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness

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No: 04/1999/TT-TCHQ
Hanoi, June 18, 1999
 
CIRCULAR
GUIDING THE CUSTOMS PROCEDURES FOR EXPORT GOODS, IMPORT GOODS AND TRANSPORT MEANS ON ENTRY OR EXIT THROUGH THE LAO BAO ECONOMIC AND TRADE DEVELOPMENT PROMOTION AREA, QUANG TRI PROVINCE, UNDER THE PRIME MINISTER’S DECISION No. 219/1998/QD-TTg OF NOVEMBER 12, 1998
Pursuant to the February 20, 1990 Ordinance on Customs;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 16/1999/ND-CP of March 27, 1999 on the customs procedures, supervision and fees;
Pursuant to Article 3 of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 219/1998/QD-TTg of November 12, 1998;
The General Department of Customs hereby guides and stipulates the following:
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

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1. The Lao Bao economic and trade development promotion area mentioned in this Circular is hereafter referred to as the Lao Bao trade area (the LBTA), with administrative boundary defined in Article 2 of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 219/1998/QD-TTg of November 12, 1998 promulgating the Regulation on the Lao Bao economic and trade development promotion area, Quang Tri province.
The LBTA has its gate A being Lao Bao international border-gate, which borders the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and gate B, where Tan Hop checking station, the innermost point of the Lao Bao trade area on inland Vietnam, is situated.
2. The Lao Bao trade area has its customs organization being an unit attached to the Customs Department of Quang Tri province (hereafter referred to as the Lao Bao trade area’s customs authority), having its working office located in the LBTA and performing the function of State management over the customs regarding activities of export, import, temporary import for re-export, temporary export for re-import, cross-bordergate transshipment and transit of goods upon the exit, entry or deposit of such goods at the LBTA, and the fight against smuggling or illicit cross-border transportation of goods, foreign exchange and Vietnamese currency.
3. All goods or service transactions between the LBTA and the domestic parties are considered export or import transactions.
+ Goods originated from inland Vietnam and goods imported from foreign countries into the LBTA shall be exempt from import duty.
+ Goods originated from inland Vietnam and brought into the LBTA and those produced, processed, recycled or assembled at the LBTA shall be exempt from export duty when being exported.
+ Goods imported from foreign countries or exported from inland Vietnam into the LBTA; from the LBTA to foreign countries or into inland Vietnam must satisfy the following conditions:
- They are not on the list of goods banned from export and/or import annually published by the Vietnamese Government;
The export and import of goods on Vietnam’s list of goods banned from export and import but not specified in Laos’ and international lists of goods banned from export and import through the LBTA must be permitted by the Prime Minister.
- They are allowed to be lawfully circulated on the Vietnamese market.
- Particularly, the goods items subject to the quota-regulated business or conditional business shall comply with the Ministry of Trade’s guidance.
4. The goods owners or representatives lawfully authorized by the goods owners (hereafter collectively referred to as the goods owners), when bringing their goods, luggage, foreign exchange and/or transport means into or out of the LBTA shall have to go through gate A or gate B of the LBTA and comply with the following regulations:
- Filling in the customs procedures;
- Fully complying with the regulations of the specialized management agency(ies);
- Fulfilling the obligations to pay taxes, fees and charges and other remittance obligations (if any) according to the provisions of the current law of the Vietnamese State.
5. The import of goods from foreign countries or inland Vietnam into the LBTA or the export of goods from the LBTA to foreign countries or into inland Vietnam by the LBTA enterprises shall comply with their business registration certificates or permits granted by Vietnam’s competent State agencies.
6. All goods exported or imported by the enterprises in the LBTA shall have to go through the customs procedures carried out by the LBTA’s customs authority.
But with a view to creating favorable conditions for production and business activities of the LBTA’s enterprises, the leading officials of the LBTA’s customs authority may allow such enterprises’ import goods with small value (under 50 million dong) to go through the customs procedures at other border-gates.
II. THE CUSTOMS PROCEDURES
1. The procedures for import goods:
1.1. The LBTA’s enterprises shall have to fill in the customs procedures for importing goods within the prescribed time limit, and submit and produce to the LBTA’s customs authority the dossier sets defined in Clause 1, Article 6, Section I, Chapter II of the above-said Government’s Decree No.16/1999/ND-CP of March 27, 1999.
1.2. The LBTA’s customs authority shall, after receiving and examining the dossiers and if such dossiers are complete and valid, have to carry out the procedures for registering customs declarations as prescribed.
1.2.1. For goods imported into the LBTA through gate A, the Lao Bao border-gate’s customs authority shall conduct the inspection of such goods according to regulations applicable to each import type.
1.2.2. For goods imported into the LBTA through gate B, the goods owners or the escorting customs officers shall carry the dossier sets already registered at the LBTA’s customs authority to the first import border-gate for filling in the procedures for forwarding such goods to LBTA’s customs authority through gate B for completion of the customs procedures as prescribed.
The procedures for forwarding import goods lots shall comply with the current regulations on forwarded export and import goods.
1.3. Goods imported into the LBTA after the customs procedures therefor are completed shall have their import goods declarations affixed with the stamp "import duty-free goods"
Goods, for which the customs procedures have not been completed, shall have to be carried into separate zones (warehouses or storing yards) and subject to the inspection, supervision and management by the LBTA’s customs authority.
1.4. For goods imported into inland Vietnam, the customs procedures shall be carried out by the Lao Bao border-gate’s customs authority according to the current regulations applicable to each import type. Upon the completion of the customs procedures, such import goods lots shall be transported through the LBTA’s gate B into inland Vietnam.
2. The procedures for export goods:
2.1. The LBTA’s enterprises shall have to fill in the customs procedures for exporting goods within the time limit prescribed for each kind of transport means, and submit and produce to the LBTA’s customs authority their customs dossier sets and goods according to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 6, Section I, Chapter II of the above-said Government’s Decree No. 16/1999/ND-CP of March 27, 1999.
2.2. The LBTA’s customs authority shall have to receive dossiers and examine their validity and completeness, as well as contents declared by the customs declarants themselves. If such dossiers are complete and valid, it shall carry out the procedures for registering customs declarations, then conduct the inspection of goods and complete the customs procedures according to the current regulations.
In cases where the export goods have been produced from imported raw materials, the concerned enterprises shall have to accompany such goods with raw materials import vouchers for liquidation of imported raw materials volume by the customs.
The tax calculation section on the export goods declarations reserved for the customs authority shall be affixed with "export duty-free goods" stamp after the customs procedures for export goods lots are completed.
2.3. If goods are packed into containers, the customs authority shall have to seal them up and hand dossier sets thereof (with written certification by the LBTA’s management board that such goods are from the LBTA), for which the customs procedures have been completed, to the goods owners for transport of such goods to the last export border-gate.
The procedures for forwarding export goods lots shall comply with the current regulations on forwarded export and import goods.
2.4. Export goods, which have gone through the customs procedures but not yet actually been exported, shall have to be subject to the supervision and management by the customs authority (where the goods lots are kept) until they are actually exported.
3. The customs procedures for raw materials, supplies, inferior-quality products and discarded materials (as specified in Article 8 of the Regulation), which are allowed to be sold on the domestic market, shall be carried out as follows:
3.1. An enterprise of the LBTA (the seller) that has goods which are exempt from import duty but have not been used up or has inferior-quality products and/or discarded materials with remaining commercial value shall be allowed to bring them out of the LBTA through gate B for sale on the domestic market. The purchase of such goods, inferior-quality products or discarded materials by a domestic enterprise (the purchaser) shall be considered import from foreign countries and regulated by the goods export and import management mechanism annually promulgated by the Vietnamese Prime Minister and the current tax laws.
- The volume of goods, inferior-quality products and discarded materials, before being sold on the domestic market, shall be compared with that of initially imported goods (the volume of goods already used in the production, that of goods in stock and that of discarded materials and inferior-quality products). Only if the compared volumes are matching, shall such goods, inferior-quality products and discarded materials be allowed to be sold, after the procedures for retrospective payment of duties, which have previously been exempted upon the initial importation, and other collection amounts according to the current regulations of the Vietnamese State, are completed.
3.2. For goods, inferior-quality products and discarded materials allowed to be sold on the domestic market according to Point 3.1 above, the declarations and customs procedures shall be made and filled in on declaration form HQ2-96; they shall not be limited in terms of value and volume and the customs procedures therefor shall be carried out by the LBTA’s customs authority.
The customs procedures shall comply with the General Department of Customs’ Decision No.127/TCHQ-GSQL of April 10, 1995 promulgating the procedural process and the diagram of process for carrying out the customs procedures for non-commercial export goods and import goods, Decision No.50/1998/QD-TCHQ of March 10, 1998 (form HD6A), Decision No.229/1998/QD-TCHQ of September 12, 1998 and other relevant guiding documents.
3.3. Besides the dossier set that must be submitted and produced to the customs authority according to the above provisions, the seller shall have to additionally submit the following papers:
- A written request (or an application) for sale of goods on the domestic market (clearly stating: the reason(s) for sale, name and address of the purchaser, the name, quality, quantity and value of goods items for which the import procedures have been completed on customs declaration No..., date...);
- The LBTA management board’s written certification of the volume of goods not used up, or inferior-quality products and/or discarded materials, with remaining commercial value, and intended to be sold on the domestic market.
- The dossier set already scrutinized through procedures for initial importation (copy) for import goods which have not been used up or for inferior-quality products or discarded materials, which have been processed or produced from imported raw materials and materials and still have commercial value and been intended to be sold on the domestic market.
3.4. If the goods are on the list of goods subject to conditional import, a permit by the Ministry of Trade or specialized managing agency is required.
4. The customs procedures for goods imported from the domestic market:
4.1. Vietnamese goods, which are purchased and brought from the domestic market through gate B of the LBTA for use therein by LBTA’s enterprises, shall be considered imports, declared on declaration form HQ2-96 and regulated by the goods export and import management mechanism annually promulgated by the Vietnamese Prime Minister.
4.1.1. The customs procedures shall comply with the provisions in the documents mentioned at Point 3.2 above.
4.1.2. The tax calculation section on customs declarations reserved for the customs office shall be affixed with "import duty-free goods" stamp.
4.2. The purchase of raw materials and materials from the domestic market without Vietnamese origin by the LBTA’s enterprises for use in their production, processing, recycling, assembly of goods and finished products shall comply with the provisions of the Government’s Decree No.57/1998/ND-CP of July 31, 1998 and the relevant guiding documents.
5. For goods, machinery and/or equipment of the LBTA’s enterprises which need to be repaired or expertised according to the written approval of the LBTA management board, the following regulations shall apply:
If such goods are temporarily exported into the inland: the declaration thereof shall be made and the customs procedures therefor shall be filled in on customs declaration form HQ2-96, duty(ies) thereon shall also be temporarily collected. If such goods are re-imported within the prescribed time limit, the customs authority shall reimburse the duty amount temporarily collected upon the temporary export. If past the prescribed time limit, such goods still fail to be re-imported, they shall be dealt with according to the current regulations.
6. Border residents and the LBTA’s enterprises as defined in Article 7 of the Regulation shall be allowed to register their business and exchange goods at the border market within the LBTA according to the provisions of the Regulation on organization and management of Vietnam-Laos border markets issued together with the Minister of Trade’s Decision No.807/1998/QD-BTM of July 15, 1998 and the relevant guiding documents.
7. For goods which are processed, temporarily imported for re-export, on cross-bordergate transshipment or transit through the LBTA as specified in Article 10 of the Regulation issued together with the above-said Decision No.219/1998/QD-TTg, the guiding documents of the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs shall apply.
8. Goods imported for participation in trade fairs or exhibitions at the LBTA shall comply with the provisions in Section 3, Chapter 4 of the Government’s Decree No.32/1999/ND-CP of May 5, 1999 on sale promotion, commercial advertisement and trade fairs and exhibitions.
9. Enterprises trading in duty-free goods in the LBTA: the LBTA’s enterprises that wish to trade in duty-free goods shall have to apply for permission of the competent agency(ies) and shall be allowed to operate only after they obtain business qualification certificates granted by the Ministry of Trade (for Vietnamese enterprises) or permits of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (for joint-ventures with foreign partners).
The customs procedures for activities of duty-free shops shall comply with the provisions of Circular No.10/1998/TT-TCHQ of November 19, 1998 guiding the implementation of the Regulation on duty-free shops issued together with the Prime Minister’s Decision No.205/1998/QD-TTg of October 19, 1998.
10. Foreign-invested enterprises operating in the LBTA shall comply with the provisions of the Law on Foreign Investment in Vietnam, the Government’s Decree No.12/CP of February 18, 1997, the General Department of Customs’ Circular No.111/GSQL-TT of May 28, 1997 and the relevant legal documents.
11. Enterprises dealing in bonded warehouses shall comply with the Regulation on bonded warehouses issued together with the Prime Minister’s Decision No.212/1998/QD-TTg of November 2, 1998 and the General Department of Customs’ Circular No.12/1998/TT-TCHQ of December 10, 1998 guiding the implementation of the Regulation on bonded warehouses.
12. For goods traded or exchanged between enterprises in industrial parks, export processing zones and hi-tech parks and the LBTA’s enterprises, the provisions of the Government’s Decree No.36/CP of April 24, 1997, the General Department of Customs’ Decision No.66/TCHQ-GSQL of June 28, 1996 promulgating the Regulation on export processing zones customs and the relevant guiding documents shall apply.
13. For goods being gifts, donations, movable assets, commodities and necessities of diplomatic missions and international organizations, and personal belongings of persons who enjoy the diplomatic privileges and immunities; and of foreigners working in the LBTA as defined in Article 11 of the Regulation issued together with the Prime Minister’s Decision No.219/1998/QD-TTg of November 12, 1998, the following guidance shall apply:
a/ The export or import of goods as gifts or donations by subjects working or doing business in the LBTA shall comply with the provisions of the General Department of Customs’ Circular No.11/1998/TT-TCHQ of December 1st, 1998.
b/ Duty-free luggage quotas for foreigners working in the LBTA shall comply with the provisions of the General Department of Customs’ Circular No.07/1998/TT-TCHQ guiding the implementation of Decree No.17/CP of February 6, 1995 and the Government’s Decree No.79/1998/ND-CP of September 29, 1998.
c/ Commodities, effects and necessities used for operations and daily activities of representative offices of foreign economic organizations or branches of foreign representative offices at the LBTA shall comply with the provisions of the Government’s Decree No.82/CP of August 2, 1994, the General Department of Customs’ Circular No.235/TCHQ-GSQL of November 21, 1994 and the relevant guiding documents.
d/ Goods and/or luggage of subjects entitled to the diplomatic privileges and immunities shall comply with the provisions of the August 23, 1993 Ordinance on the privileges and immunities for foreign diplomatic missions and consular offices, and representatives of the international organizations in Vietnam, and the Government’s Decree No.73/CP of July 30, 1994 as well as the relevant documents guiding the implementation thereof.
e/* For goods, luggage and foreign exchange brought by foreigners from inland Vietnam into the LBTA or from the LBTA into inland Vietnam, the customs procedures shall be carried out right at the LBTA or the papers with the completed customs procedures shall be produced to the customs authorities of other border-gates.
* Foreigners and Vietnamese working daily in the LBTA shall only be allowed to bring from inland Vietnam into the LBTA foreign exchange in a volume prescribed by the State Bank of Vietnam, or necessities of kinds and in quantities appropriate to their working purposes and duration in the LBTA.
III. THE CUSTOMS INSPECTION AND SUPERVISION AT GATES A-B
A. THE CUSTOMS SUPERVISION PROCEDURES AT GATES A-B:
1. The responsibilities of the goods owners:
1.1. * For goods exported from the LBTA, they shall have to produce to the customs offices of gates A-B:
- Declarations with the completed customs procedures.
- Bills for export goods forwarding (goods lots through gate B for export through other border-gates).
* For goods exported from inland Vietnam through the LBTA for export through gate A, the following must be produced to gate B’s customs office:
- Declarations with the completed customs procedures.
- Bills for export goods forwarding
1.2. For goods imported (through gate A) into the LBTA or goods through the LBTA into inland Vietnam, the following must be produced to gate A’s customs office:
- Customs declarations already registered for import by the LBTA’s enterprises or domestic enterprises.
- Bills for import goods forwarding (for import goods lots of domestic enterprises).
1.3. For goods imported into inland Vietnam through gate B, for which the customs procedures have been carried out by the Lao Bao border-gate’s customs authority, the following must be produced to gate B’s customs office:
- Declarations with the completed customs procedures.
1.4. For goods deposited in bonded warehouses, the following must be produced to the customs:
- Goods declarations and contracts for depositing goods in bonded warehouses.
1.5. For goods on transit, cross-bordergate trans-shipment, temporary import for re-export, the following must be produced to the customs:
- The competent State agency’s permit for transporting goods on transit, cross-bordergate transshipment, temporary import for re-export through the LBTA.
2. The duties of customs offices of gates A-B:
2.1. For export goods and import goods:
- To check and compare papers as prescribed above with actual volume, signs on goods bales (for knocked down goods), signs on containers or seal on containers through gates A-B.
- To give certifications, after comparing the papers and actualities and if they are matching, on the customs declarations and diaries.
- To open diaries for recording, summing up and liquidating each goods lot for goods transported through gates A-B in many lots and many days.
- Through the inspection and supervision at the gates, if suspicious cases are detected, the customs officers supervising the gates shall have to promptly report them to the leading officials of the LBTA’s customs authority for decision on forms of inspection thereof.
2.2. For passengers, transport means and operators thereof on exit or entry:
2.2.1. Gate As customs office shall guide and carry out the procedures for luggage of passengers, operators of transport means and transport means on exit or entry through gate A according to the current regulations.
2.2.2. Gate Bs customs office shall check vouchers, for which the customs procedures have been completed at other border-gates customs authorities, for goods, luggage and personal effects of operators of transport means and transport means on exit or entry through gate B into the LBTA.
B. IMPLEMENTATION ORGANIZATION AND COORDINATION
1. At each of gates A and B, there must be a supervising customs team or section which performs the task of around-the-clock inspection divided into shifts.
2. Each of gates A and B must have a management and monitoring book and a diary.
3. After each duty shift, the off-duty officers shall have to hand over the duty and inform the situation to the next shift’s officers. They shall have to promptly report unexpected incidents beyond their handling competence to the leading officials of the LBTA’s customs authority for handling directions.
IV. REGULATIONS ON VARIOUS KINDS OF MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING BOOKS
1. Kinds of books:
Basing itself on the current regulations on each type of export goods, import goods or transport means on exit or entry, the LBTA’s customs authority shall have to open books for separate management and monitoring.
2. Use regulations:
- The books must be sequentially numbered, with the customs seal affixed on each page, and the certification, signature and seal of the leading official of the LBTA’s customs authority put on the first page.
- The prescribed contents of books must fully recorded.
- The books shall be kept according to regulations.
V. HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
Organizations and individuals that violate the provisions of the Regulation on Lao Bao trade area and this guiding Circular shall, depending on the seriousness of their violations, be sanctioned for administrative violations in the field of customs or examined for penal liability as prescribed by law.
VI. ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION
1. This Circular takes effect 15 days after its signing.
2. The Director of the Customs Department of Quang Tri province shall have to guide and direct the attached units in implementing the provisions of this Circular; publicly posting up relevant guiding documents at the places where the customs procedures are carried out and carrying out procedural steps for each type according to the current regulations in order to quickly release goods, luggage, foreign exchange and transport means under the General Department of Customs’ policy of customs procedures reform at the LBTA.
3. The Customs Department of Quang Tri province shall have to closely coordinate with the concerned agencies in implementing the Regulation on the LBTA issued together with Decision No.219/1998/QD-TTg of November 12, 1998 of the Prime Minister and this guiding Circular.
4. The Director of the Supervision and Management Department, the heads of the Departments and Sections under the General Department of Customs and the directors of the provincial/municipal Customs Departments shall have to implement the provisions of the Regulation on the LBTA issued together with Decision No.219/1998/QD-TTg of November 12, 1998 of the Prime Minister and this guiding Circular.
Any difficulty and problem arising in the course of implementation shall be promptly reported to the General Department of Customs for handling guidance.
 

 

 
THE GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF CUSTOMS

Nguyen Van Cam