Garment industry news

Export and Import Goods Customs Clearance Process for Businesses


Exporting and importing goods is a choice for many Vietnamese businesses to expand their markets. However, many business owners are still not clear about the precise process for customs clearance to make it as fast as possible.

What is Goods Customs Clearance?

Customs clearance is an essential step in the formal process of importing and exporting goods.

According to Vietnam’s National Assembly Customs Law of 2014, Law No. 54/2014/QH13, it is defined as “Customs clearance is the completion of customs procedures to import, export, or place goods under other customs business operation management.”

Each country has its own regulations and laws related to trade. Therefore, different import and export taxes and duties are applied to goods crossing a country’s borders.

Why is Goods Customs Clearance Necessary?

Every shipment must pay fees to the government of the destination country for the transfer (import/export) of goods. Therefore, customs clearance is mandatory when conducting any international transaction. Declaring information also helps the government easily control the flow of goods in and out of its territory and timely prevent risks.

Time for Goods Customs Clearance

According to Government Resolution No. 19-2016/NQ-CP, by the end of 2020, customs clearance time at the border was reduced to under 60 hours for exports and 80 hours for imports.

Costs of Goods Customs Clearance

Customs clearance costs are fees that exporters/importers must pay to the customs authorities. Customs clearance costs include three types:

Customs clearance service fees: These apply when exporters/importers authorize customs agents or others to handle customs procedures. These are service fees and are not related to government agencies. Customs clearance service fees can be negotiated between the authorizer and the authorized party, so there is no specific amount.

Customs duties: Circular No. 43/2009/TT-BTC, issued on March 9, 2009, regulates the rates, collection, payment, management, and use of fees and charges in the customs sector. According to these regulations, the customs procedure fee is VND 20,000 per declaration form, and the customs fee for goods and vehicles transiting Vietnam is VND 200,000 per declaration form. Additionally, there are no customs procedure fees for vehicles regularly crossing borders under a tracking book or by computer, not by declaration.

Import and export taxes: Depending on the type of goods being imported or exported, you may need to pay various taxes, such as import/export taxes, VAT, special consumption tax, and environmental protection tax.

The mandatory condition for customs clearance is that all taxes must be paid to the state. However, there are cases where no taxes need to be paid according to Vietnamese law.

Export Goods Customs Clearance Process

To successfully complete the export goods customs clearance process, you need to understand the following five basic steps:

Prepare customs documents:

   – Commercial contract

   – Commercial invoice

   – Packing list

   – Bill of lading

   – License

   – Certificate of origin

   – Other required customs documents

Declare export information (EDA):

Before registering the export declaration, you must declare export information to serve as the basis for opening the declaration. The information provided on the EDA screen will be sent to the VNACCS system for automatic allocation of codes, applicable tax rates, and corresponding names for import codes.

Register the export declaration (EDC):

When the VNACCS system responds on the EDC registration screen, the customs declarant must check all the declared information and the system’s automatically calculated information for accuracy. In case incorrect information is detected, corrections must be made using the EDB function in the export information declaration (EDA) screen.

Check the declaration registration conditions:

Before issuing the declaration, the system will check the list of businesses that do not meet the declaration registration conditions, such as businesses that have dissolved or gone bankrupt, businesses with overdue debts of more than 90 days, etc. Businesses on this list will not be allowed to register the declaration, and the system will notify customs declarants.

Declaration routing:

After completing the export declaration registration, the customs system will return the declaration routing result for printing and submission with the import documents to open the declaration at the customs office. At this stage, customs officers will classify the declaration into green, yellow, or red lanes.

Customs Clearance and Declaration Liquidation

In this step, customs officers will inspect the goods and allow customs clearance. After the inspection, you must pay the required taxes to complete the customs clearance process. Once the declaration is cleared (the result will be displayed on the customs agency’s website), you will print a barcode and meet with customs again to clear the declaration.

After the barcode is sealed by customs, the export goods customs clearance is complete. At this point, you will need to complete any remaining paperwork to pick up the goods from the port.

Join the conversation