A certificate of origin (C/O) in Vietnam is an important document that allows exporters to enjoy certain tax incentives and/or other preferential treatment. This document is needed to determine the manufacturing or production location of the products.
For a more comprehensive grasp of C/O licensing in Vietnam and the complete procedural prerequisites, businesses should focus on six key aspects, drawing from our extensive experience.
- Types of C/O in Vietnam and issuing authority
The table below shows a summary of C/O types in Vietnam:
Common C/O forms in Vietnam is categorized by top importing countries:
- Form A
- Form E (ASEAN – China)
- Form AK (ASEAN – South Korea)
- Form AI (ASEAN – India)
- Form AANZ (ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand)
- Form AJ (ASEAN – Japan)
- Form EUR.1 (EVFTA)
- Which type of C/O is used for exports to the US?
The US has remained the largest export market of Vietnam for many years. As Vietnam and the US have not entered any free trade agreement, Form B: C/O that is used for all kinds of goods exported to other countries and issued under non-preferential rules of origin is suitable for exports to the US.
- What isa change of tariff classification (CTC)?
A change in tariff classification means that the tariff classification of the final product is different from the tariff classification of all non-originating materials used. The minimum requirement for a change is defined by the rule of origin guidelines and may take place at different levels: chapter (two-digit level), heading (four-digit level), or sub-heading (six-digit level). In other words:
- Change in chapter (CC) means that all non-originating materials are not classified in the same chapter as the final product.
- Change in tariff heading (CTH) means that all non-originating materials are not classified in the same heading as the final product.
- Change in tariff sub-heading (CTSH) means that all non-originating materials are not classified in the same sub-heading as the final product.
- Procedure for the issuance of C/O
This procedure includes three steps:
Step 1: Registration of trader profiles (required)
If companies apply C/O for the first time, companies need to conduct registration of trader profiles, including:
- Registration of the signature specimen of the person authorized to sign the C/O application and the trader’s seal specimen.
- Business registration certificate of the trader (a certified true copy).
- Tax identification number registration certificate (a certified true copy).
- A list of production establishments of the trader (if any).
- Any changes in the trader profile should be immediately notified to the C/O issuer where the profile has been registered. A trader profile is required to be updated once every two years.
- C/O applicants are considered for C/O issuance only at the places where they have registered their trader profile and after they have completed the trader profile registration procedures.
- If companies have already applied for other C/Os, companies can skip Step 1, and move directly to Step 2.
Step 2: Application for issuance of C/O
Traders can choose to submit the application dossier online via www.ecosys.gov.vn, directly in-person at the office of the relevant authorities, or by post to the office of relevant authorities.
Step 3: C/O is granted.
- C/O application dossiers
A C/O application dossier is comprised of:
- The C/O application form that has been fully filled in (one original form and three copies).
- The export customs declaration for which customs procedures have been completed (a copy signed by a competent officer and stamped “certified true copy”). This declaration is not required for exports that are not subject to customs declaration.
- A specimen of C/O form which is completed;
- A copy of the commercial invoice (stamped as a true copy of the original by trader);
- A packing list;
- A copy of the bill of lading or copy of an equivalent transport document (stamped as a true copy of the original by the trader) in a case where the trader has no bill of lading;
- A detailed list of exported goods qualifying preferential rules of origin or non-preferential rules of origin using the form prescribed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade;
- Production process: Sign and stamp;
- Any other documents if required.
- In case of a plausible reason, the C/O applicant may submit these documents later than 30 days from the date of C/O issuance.
- Other necessary documents that the C/O-issuing authority deems necessary include the customs declaration of imported materials and auxiliary materials, export permit, sale contract, VAT invoice on the purchase and sale of domestic materials and auxiliary materials, sea waybill, air waybill and other documents proving the origin of exports.
- C/O issuance time
- A C/O shall be issued within three working days after the C/O applicant files a complete and valid dossier.
- If necessary, the C/O issuer has the authority to carry out inspections at production facilities when they find the documentation examination insufficient for C/O issuance or suspect violations of the law. The outcomes of these verifications must be documented in minutes and jointly endorsed by the inspectors, C/O applicants, and/or exporters. If the applicants or exporters decline to sign the minutes, the inspectors must include the reasons for this refusal in the record and certify it with their signatures. In such instances, the deadline for issuing or declining a C/O should not surpass five working days from the date the applicant submits a comprehensive dossier.
- It’s important to emphasize that under no circumstances should the verification process hinder the shipment or payment made by exporters unless such delays can be attributed to the exporters’ own faults.