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Invoices, documents a must for imported goods

Update: May, 06/2015 - 08:06

It is mandatory for business establishments to produce invoices and documents proving the legality of their goods as and when inspection agencies demand. — Photo ketoan7e

Enterprises in the circulation of imported goods in the market should follow important regulations on invoices, documents (showing their type and time limits on production), and the handling of violations.

According to Joint Circular No 60/2011/TTLT-BTC-BCT-BCA, which details the types of invoices and documents for imported goods circulating in the market, establishments involved in the business of imported goods are required to have a firm grasp of certain provisions on the ways to identify imports circulating in the market, types of accompanying invoices and documents, time limits on the production of invoices and documents, and handling of violations.

1. What constitute imports circulating in the market?

They include goods that are en route to their final destinations, goods displayed for sale, or goods preserved at warehouses, ports, storage yards, manufacturing facilities, as well as in business establishments or other locations.

In addition, it is essential to acknowledge that several types of imports, although in transit or stored somewhere, are not subject to being mentioned in this article of PLF. They include goods temporarily imported for re-export, goods temporarily exported for re-import, goods imported for the implementation of investment projects, and raw materials and supplies imported for supporting processing contracts with foreign traders. Imports in border-gate transfer, goods transported from port to port, and goods in transit currently under customs inspection and supervision also fall in this category.

2. What are the different types of invoices and documents accompanying imports circulating in the market?

For goods directly imported by business establishments and are displayed for sale at stores or preserved at warehouses, Ex-Warehousing-cum-Internal Transportation Bills are required in case of dependent cost-accounting in the same province or city, and invoices in case of independent cost-accounting. In the event where goods are solely preserved at warehouses, Warehousing Receipts are compulsory.

For the goods that are not directly imported by establishments but are displayed for sale at stores, transported, or preserved at warehouses, there must be invoices and documents issued by the sellers of those goods.

When establishments transfer imports to their branches, shops or stores in other provinces or cities, or just between their branches, invoices or Ex-warehousing-cum-Internal Transportation Bills and Transfer Orders are required.

For imports purchased from agencies selling confiscated goods or National Reserves Agencies, sale invoices issued by these agencies are mandatory.

Enterprises shall produce documents to prove that taxes have been declared and paid for the imports that are gifts or duty-free presents, goods within allowed duty-free luggage quotas, duty-free goods sold in border-gate economic zones, and goods exchanged by border residents within allowed duty-free quotas that are on the List of Goods manufactured by countries sharing the same import boundaries with Viet Nam. The same is also applicable on goods transported, displayed for sale, or preserved at warehouses outside border-gate economic zones.

3. What is the time limit for submitting invoices and documents?

It is mandatory for business establishments to produce invoices and documents proving the legality of their goods as and when inspection agencies demand. This is essential for imports in transit or preserved at warehouses, storage yards or other places that are not under the ownership of or used by business establishments, and imports that are on the list of those subject to conditional import under relevant laws. In case an establishment does not have a representative to directly escort such goods, then the recipient of those goods or the driver of the vehicle carrying those goods must be authorised. If invoices and documents are not produced at the time of inspection, inspection agencies shall temporarily seize goods until their verification is completed.

Invoices and documents proving the legality of imports that are displayed for sale, preserved at warehouses, ports or storage yards, and owned or used by establishments, must be produced within 72 hours since their examination.

4. What are the penalties for violations related to invoices and documents?

Administrative penalties shall be imposed on business establishments whose imports circulate in the market without invoices and documents, or with invoices and documents that are counterfeit, invalid, expired, or falsely created; or where such establishments fail to produce required invoices and documents within a prescribed time limit. That being said, enterprises are entitled to lodge complaints, denunciations, or administrative lawsuits against decisions on violations. However, while filing such complaints and denunciations, or while waiting for court decisions, enterprises are still required to strictly comply with the decisions of competent authorities.

PLF Law Firm

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