Import and export of goods via e commerce Promoting trade associated with strict management


VCN – E-commerce is an inevitable trend in the current period in Vietnam as well as in other countries around the world. The high growth rate of e-commerce requires appropriate changes in state agencies’ regulatory mechanisms and policies.

E-commerce activities have become a prominent highlight in Vietnam's commercial picture. Source: Internet.
E-commerce activities have become a prominent highlight in Vietnam’s commercial picture. Source: Internet.

“Channel” for import and export of popular goods

Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that Vietnam’s exports are expected to grow by 6% in 2023, opening new business expectations for businesses. However, the Vietnamese economy is also facing many difficulties and challenges, requiring businesses to take corresponding preparation steps, in which new business models, especially e-commerce, need to be applied more. This is also an effective solution to help reduce costs to overcome current difficulties.

According to Roger Luo, Director of Asia-Pacific region, Vietnam’s export data in recent years shows that Vietnamese goods are leading in world purchasing demand. More and more foreign purchasing partners are willing to consider Vietnam as the first choice for purchasing. Products from Vietnamese small and medium enterprises are always appreciated for their quality, finished products, export skills, and customer care services. Besides, 50% of exporters from Vietnam are at the KA level (high-star exporter), which shows the trend of more in-depth investment of Vietnamese exporters in e-commerce.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, e-commerce activities will become a prominent highlight in Vietnam’s commercial picture in 2022. With a growth rate of about 20% per year, Vietnam is ranked by e-Marketer in the top 5 e-commerce growth countries in the world.

It can be seen that cross-border e-commerce is growing and is considered an effective way for businesses to penetrate and expand export markets. However, although import and export transactions through e-commerce are so developed, there is still no separate policy on the management of goods exported and imported through this form.

Create a transparent legal corridor

The representative of the General Department of Customs said that according to the current law, imported and exported goods that are traded via e-commerce or by traditional methods all apply the same customs policies and procedures, and there is no distinction. Therefore, the current reality is that the management agency is facing some problems regarding customs documents, specialized management policies, and difficulties in the prevention and combat of smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

For example, a buyer fails to submit or present documents related to the value of exported or imported goods to the customs office when carrying out customs procedures to determine the customs value according to the correct purchase price for exported and imported goods (because buyers often pay via debit cards, e-wallets). As a result, the number of low-value shipments increased rapidly. However, the Customs authority did not have a basis for classifying goods by group, providing advance information about goods to apply modern technical solutions in carrying out customs procedures, inspecting Customs inspection and supervision following the principle of risk management, which slows down the customs clearance process and reduces competition in e-commerce activities with other countries, especially for exported goods.

Moreover, individuals who purchase goods in small quantities for personal purposes still have to fully comply with the regulations on licensing, conditions, and specialized testing as prescribed, while most licensing procedures Licenses, conditions, and specialized inspection by the concerned ministries and branches, which prescribe dossiers, only the organization performing the import and export of goods can have sufficient dossiers and capacity to do so. Forming a department to purchase goods on behalf of e-commerce exchanges and commercial websites to sell and transport these goods to Vietnam by unorthodox roads causes difficulties in the fight against commercial fraud.

The reality in many countries shows that the strong development of e-commerce also requires countries to change their management methods to facilitate the development of e-commerce but still ensure the control of goods and collect taxes on exported and imported goods transacted through e-commerce.

From practice as well as implementing the direction of the Government and the Prime Minister, over the past time, the Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) has actively developed, consulted stakeholders, finalized and submitted to the Government a draft Decree on customs management of imported and exported goods transacted through e-commerce. In which separate regulations on customs data processing system on e-commerce; procedures for providing information on transactions of exported and imported goods via e-commerce; inspection, specialized management, and tax policy for exported and imported goods transacted via e-commerce.

With a separate policy for import and export activities, transactions via e-commerce are expected to create a full, clear and transparent legal corridor on management policies and e-customs procedures to facilitate benefits for organizations and individuals that export and import goods transacted through e-commerce; meet the requirements of effective customs management, reform of administrative procedures; contribute to the development of e-commerce.

By Ngoc Linh/ Huu Tuc


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