THE STATE COUNCIL
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Hanoi, December 26, 1991
ON IMPORT TAX AND EXPORT TAX
To manage import and export activities; to expand external economic relations; to raise the efficiency of import and export activities; to contribute to developing and protecting production, guiding domestic consumption and creating revenue sources for the State budget;
Pursuant to Article 83 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
This Law provides for import tax and export tax.
TAXABLE OBJECTS AND TAXPAYERS
Article 1.- Goods permitted for import and/or export through Vietnam’s border-gates or across Vietnam’s borders, including goods brought from the domestic market into export-processing zones or from export-processing zones to the domestic market, shall all be subject to import tax and/or export tax.
Article 2.- Goods in the following cases shall not be subject to import tax or export tax after having gone through all customs procedures:
1. Goods in transit or transported across Vietnam’s borders;
2. Goods transshipped across border-gates;
3. Goods being humanitarian aids.
Article 3.- Organizations and/or individuals that possess goods being tax-liable objects (hereinafter referred collectively to as taxpayers), when importing and/or exporting those goods, shall all have to pay import tax and/or export tax.
Article 4.- For goods imported and/or exported under international agreements which Vietnam has signed or acceded to and which contain different provisions, the import and export taxes shall comply with such agreements.
Article 5.- Basing itself on this Law, the Council of Ministers shall prescribe import tax and export tax on non-quota goods in accordance with the Regulation on non-quota border import and export and particularities of each border area.
TAX CALCULATION BASES
Article 6.- Bases for calculation of import tax and export tax:
1. The volume of each goods item inscribed in the import/export goods declaration.
2. The tax calculation price;
3. The tax rate for the goods item.
Article 7.- Bases for determination of tax calculation prices:
1. For export goods, it is the contractual sale price at the export border-gate;
2. For import goods, it is the contractual purchase price at the import border-gate, including freights and insurance costs;
In cases where goods are imported or exported by other modes or the contractual prices are much lower than the actual purchase/sale prices at border gates, the tax calculation prices shall be determined by the Council of Ministers;
3. The exchange rates between Vietnamese dong and foreign currencies used for the determination of tax calculation prices are the buying rates announced by the State Bank of Vietnam at the time of tax calculation.
Article 8.- Basing itself on the import/export policy in each period, the State Council shall prescribe tax tables according to the lists of tax-liable goods categories and tax-rate bracket applicable to each goods category.
Basing itself on the tax tables promulgated by the State Council, the Council of Ministers shall prescribe specific tax tables according to the list of goods items and tax rate applicable to each goods item.
Article 9.- Tax rates for import/export goods include common tax rates and preferential tax rates:
1. Common tax rates are the tax rates prescribed in the tax tables;
2. Preferential tax rates are the tax rates applicable to goods imported from, or exported to, countries that have signed agreements with clauses on preferential treatment in the trade relations with Vietnam and other cases as decided by the Council of Ministers.
A preferential tax rate shall be prescribed not lower than 50 of the common tax rate for each goods item. The Council of Ministers shall decide on the specific preferential tax rate for each goods item and each country.
TAX EXEMPTION, REDUCTION AND REIMBURSEMENT
Article 10.- Tax exemption shall apply in the following cases:
1. Non-refundable aid goods;
2. Goods temporarily imported for re-export or temporarily exported for re-import for participation in trade fairs or exhibitions;
3. Goods being assets on the move, goods possessed and carried along or sent home by Vietnamese citizens going to work overseas under labor cooperation contracts or expert cooperation contracts, citizens working or studying overseas, within the limit prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
4. Import/export goods of foreign organizations and/or individuals that are entitled to immunities prescribed by the Council of Ministers in compliance with international agreements which Vietnam has signed or acceded to;
5. Goods exported for repayment of the Government’s foreign debts.
Article 11.- Tax exemption shall be considered in the following cases:
1. Goods imported for exclusive use for security, national defense, scientific research, and education and training.
2. Goods being supplies or raw materials imported for processing for, then re-export to, foreign countries under signed contracts;
3. Goods imported or exported by foreign-invested enterprises and foreign parties to business cooperation contracts, in cases where investment should be encouraged under the Law on Foreign Investment in Vietnam;
4. Goods being gifts or donations given by foreign organizations or individuals to Vietnamese organizations or individuals and vice versa, within the limits prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
Article 12.- Tax reduction shall be considered for cases where goods on the move or in the course of handling are damaged or lost for plausible reasons certified by the State expertise agency in charge of import/export goods.
The tax reduction levels shall correspond to the goods’ damage percentage.
Article 13.- For goods that have been exempted from taxes or considered for tax exemption or reduction according to the provisions of Articles 10, 11 and 12 of this Law but later the reasons for tax exemption or reduction change, the import/export tax amounts must be fully collected.
The Council of Ministers shall prescribe competence and procedures for tax exemption, consideration of tax exemption or reduction, and full retrospective collection of tax amounts as mentioned in Articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Law.
Article 14.- The reimbursement of import tax or export tax to taxpayers shall be considered in the following cases:
1. Import goods for which import tax has been paid but which are still being kept in border-gate warehouses or storing yards but permitted for re-export;
2. Goods for which export tax has been paid but which are no longer exported;
3. Goods for which import or export tax has been paid according to declarations but which have actually been exported or imported in smaller volume;
4. Goods being supplies or raw materials imported for production of export goods;
5. Goods temporarily imported for re-export, goods temporarily exported for re-import, under permission of the competent State agency.
ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION
Article 15.- The Council of Ministers shall exercise uniform management over the collection of import and export taxes throughout the country.
The General Department of Customs shall have to organize the collection of import and export taxes on import and export goods.
The People’s Committees of border provinces shall have to coordinate with customs offices and tax offices in organizing the collection of taxes on non-quota border import and export goods according to regulations of the Council of Ministers.
Article 16.- Organizations and individuals that have goods permitted for import and/or export must make tax declarations and pay taxes upon each time of goods importation or exportation.
Tax offices shall have to undertake inspection, complete procedures and collect taxes.
1. The time for import/export tax calculation is the date of registration of import/export goods declarations;
2. Within 8 hours after registering import/export goods declarations, the tax-collecting agencies shall officially notify the taxpayers of the payable tax amounts;
3. The time limits for taxpayers to fully pay taxes is prescribed as follows:
a/ 15 days as from the date a taxpayer receives the tax-collecting agency’s official notice of the payable tax amount, for commercial export goods;
b/ 30 days as from the date a taxpayer receives the tax-collecting agency’s official notice of the payable tax amount, for commercial import goods;
c/ Right at the time of exporting goods overseas or importing goods into Vietnam, for non-commercial and non-quota border import/export goods.
Article 18.- In cases where taxpayers disagree with the officially notified payable tax amounts, they shall still have to fully pay such tax amounts but concurrently have the right to lodge complaints to the central-level tax- collecting agencies for settlement. If later they still disagree with the complaint settlement, they may further lodge their complaints to the Minister of Finance. The Finance Minister’s decisions shall be the final ones.
1. Within 30 days after receiving complete dossiers of application for tax reimbursement from taxpayers that have import/export goods prescribed in Article 14 of this Law, the Finance Ministry shall have to fully reimburse the reimbursable tax amounts to such taxpayers.
2. Past the time limit prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article, apart from the reimbursable tax amounts, the Finance Ministry shall also have to pay taxpayers that are entitled to tax reimbursement an interest amount to be calculated according to the bank deposit interest rate at the time of tax reimbursement, as from the date of delaying tax reimbursement.
HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
1. Each day after the tax-payment time limits prescribed in Article 17 of this Law, if taxpayers fail to pay taxes, they shall have to pay a fine equal to 0.5 of the tax arrears.
2. In cases where taxpayers fail to pay taxes for 90 days after the tax-payment time limits, customs offices must not fill in the import/export procedures for subsequent goods lots of such taxpayers while the Ministry of Trade and Tourism must not grant them import/export permits, until they fully pay the outstanding tax debts.
3. Taxpayers that commit acts of fraudulence in tax payment shall be subject to fines of between 2 and 5 times the fraudulent tax amounts.
Tax-collecting agencies shall have the right to apply sanctioning measures according to the provisions of Clauses 1 and 3 of this Article.
4. Individuals who evade big tax amounts or have been administratively handled according to Clause 3 of this Article but still commit violations or evade very big tax amounts or commit crimes in other serious cases shall be examined for penal liability according to the provisions of Article 169 of the Penal Code.
Article 21.- In cases where taxpayers disagree with the sanctioning decisions of tax-collecting agencies, they shall still have to execute the sanctioning measures but concurrently have the right to lodge complaints to the central-level tax-collecting agencies; if later they still disagree with the complaint settlement, they may further lodge their complaints to the Finance Minister.
The Finance Minister’s decisions shall be the final ones.
Article 22.- Tax officers or other individuals, who abuse their positions and/or powers to appropriate or corrupt import/export tax money, shall have to refund to the State the entire appropriated or corrupted tax amounts and, depending on the seriousness of their violations, be disciplined, administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability according to law provisions.
Tax officers or other individuals, who abuse their positions and/or powers to cover up violators or intentionally violate the provisions of the Law on Import Tax and Export Tax, being irresponsible in the implementation of this Law, shall, depending on the seriousness of their violations, be disciplined, administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability according to law provisions.
Tax officers, who, due to their lack of responsibility or intentional improper handling of tax cases, cause damage to taxpayers or handled persons, shall have to pay compensations to the victims.
Article 23.- The Law on Import Tax and Export Tax takes effect as from March 1, 1992.
Article 24.- This Law replaces the December 29, 1987 Law on Import Tax and Export Tax on Commercial Goods; to annul Article 32 of the June 30, 1990 Law on Special Consumption Tax.
Article 25.- The Council of Ministers shall detail the implementation of this Law.
This Law was passed on December 26, 1991 by the VIIIth National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at its 10th session./.
Vo Chi Cong