Removing obstacles in determination of goods code, customs value hinh anh 1Unloading goods at Cat Lai port, Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The General Department of Customs said that it is implementing a series of measures to remove difficulties and shortcomings related to identification code of goods.

A number of businesses recently have reported that they have encountered difficulties and obstacles in implementing customs clearance regulations, specifically those related to identifying goods code and customs value.

According to the General Department of Customs, there are many causes for the above-mentioned problems, such as different interpretations of related legal documents, special properties of areas (harmonized system (HS) code and customs value), incomplete declaration of enterprises and limited capacity of some customs officers.

Inconsistent code application

The General Department of Customs said there are inconsistent applications of codes for same items.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN), and Vietnam’s Nomenclature of Exports and Imports are to facilitate trade and control goods that need to be controlled, so there are cases where low-value goods, new products, new technological products have not been identified or criteria for distinction have not been specified.

The HS is the universal economic language and code for goods. It is a six-digit code common among all WCO member countries.

In 1998, the Vietnamese President issued Decision No. 49/QD-CTN on Vietnam’s accession to the HS Convention. The HS Convention came into effect in Vietnam on January 1, 2000.

Meanwhile, the AHTN is an eight-digit HS-based commodity nomenclature common among the ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam. The AHTN is based on the HS. The first six-digit of AHTN is from HS convention, the 7th and the 8th is for ASEAN purpose.

Vietnam’s Nomenclature of Exports and Imports is also an eight-digit HS nomenclature, which is totally based on the AHTN.

With the strong development of technology, many products integrate many uses and components. This makes it difficult to identify and classify suh products.

Additionally, the application of risk management in the customs clearance process with the goal of switching from pre-customs clearance inspection to post-customs clearance check may also cause some problems related to identification code of goods.

Many enterprises have not yet fully understood the HS. There are cases where the standards of a specialized field may be different from the classification. Enterprises can rely on the standards for specialized fields to apply to classified fields.

The limited competence of a few civil servants doing the classification work at border gates was also attributed to the situation, the department said.

Principles and methods of customs valuation

Regarding term of customs valuation, the department said principles and methods for determining customs value are fully regulated in the Law on Customs, therefore, customs declarants must declare and determine customs value by themselves in line principles and methods of customs valuation.

Removing obstacles in determination of goods code, customs value hinh anh 2Border guards on duty at the Huu Nghi International Border Gate, Lang Son province (Photo: VNA).

Customs authorities are responsible for checking the declared value, consulting and handling the inspection and consultation results in accordance with regulations.

Customs declarants may request customs authorities to notify the customs value in writing, as well as the basis and method used to determine the customs value in case the customs value is determined by customs authorities.

In the process of determining the customs value, both the customs declarant and the customs authority must strictly comply with regulations on principles and methods of determining the value of exported and imported goods.

If an enterprise disagrees with a customs authority' valuation result, it has the right to complain or file a lawsuit in accordance with legal regulations.

The department said the customs sector has also promoted the building of a centralized management database, and upgraded systems to effectively inspect and control the declaration and application of codes.

It has also paid attention to training customs staff, and raising awareness and ability of the business community in term of goods classification./.