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Set up a customs clearance service company in Vietnam

Along with the development of today’s society, the need to keep up with the trends of the times is increasingly enhanced and expanded, making the customs clearance service industry play a very important role in the commodity economy. To meet this need, many customs clearance service companies have been established. So what conditions must be met to establish a customs clearance service company? To answer questions, Viet An Law Firm sends customers an article on the conditions for establishing a customs clearance service company through the article below.

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Legal basis

  • Vietnam’s Commitment Schedule in the WTO;
  • Law on Customs 2014;
  • Law on Enterprise 2020;
  • Law on Investment 2020
  • Circular 22/2019/TT-BTC amending and supplementing several articles of Circular 12/2015/TT-BTC of the Minister of Finance, detailing procedures for granting professional certificates customs declaration; issuance and revocation of customs clearance agent employee codes; order and procedures for recognition and customs clearance agent activities;

What is customs clearance service?

Customs clearance service is a service provided by a company specializing in customs services to carry out procedural work to clear import and export goods shipments. Thereby, these companies will receive costs according to the agreement. Customs brokerage is a form of customs clearance service.

Under Clause 3, Article 18 of the Customs Law 2014, a customs declarant is an agent carrying out customs procedures, another person authorized by the goods owner, or the owner of the means of transport to perform the obligations within the scope of authorization, specifically:

  • Declare customs and carry out customs procedures according to the provisions of the Customs Law 2014;
  • Provide complete and accurate information for customs authorities to pre-determine codes, origin, and customs value of goods;
  • Be responsible before the law for the authenticity of the declared content and submitted and presented documents, and for the consistency of information content between records kept at the enterprise and records kept at the customs authority;
  • Implement decisions and requests of customs authorities and customs officers in carrying out customs procedures, customs supervision, and inspection of goods and means of transport;
  • Pay taxes and perform other financial obligations according to the provisions of law on taxes, fees, charges, and other relevant laws.

Conditions for setting up a customs clearance service company in Vietnam

Market access conditions for foreign investors

According to the trade agreements that Vietnam is a member of, Vietnam commits to opening doors for foreign investors to invest in customs clearance agency services in the form of establishing joint venture companies with foreign investors. invest in Vietnam without limiting their proportion in the joint venture.

Conditions under Vietnamese law

According to the provisions of the Enterprise Law 2020 and the Customs Law 2014, it is clearly stated that businesses can operate customs clearance agency services when granted a business registration certificate or registration certificate. Enterprises with goods delivery services or customs clearance agents.

In addition to the conditions for the business registration certificate, businesses need to meet the following conditions regarding personnel and facilities:

About personnel:

Under Clause 2, Article 20 of the 2014 Customs Law, customs clearance agents must be Vietnamese citizens and meet all 3 conditions, including having college degrees in economics, law, and engineering. above; Have a certificate in customs declaration; be granted a customs clearance agent code by the customs authority. To be granted a customs clearance agent employee code, the geographical location for customs clearance needs to be prepared:

Dossier include:

  • Application for issuance of customs clearance agent employee code: 01 original copy;
  • University or college diploma in law, economics, or engineering: 01 photocopy;
  • Customs professional certificate: 01 photocopy;
  • Identity card or citizen identification card if the national population database has not yet been put into operation: 01 photocopy;
  • 01 color photo 2x3cm taken within 06 months up to the time of application submission.

About facilities:

At Point c, Clause 1, Article 20 of the Customs Law, customs agents must have an information technology infrastructure that meets the conditions to perform electronic customs declaration and other articles according to the provisions of the law.

Procedures for setting up a customs agency service company in Vietnam

Procedures for recognition of customs clearance agents

When meeting all conditions to establish a customs agency service company, after establishing an enterprise with a corresponding industry (recorded in the Enterprise Registration Certificate), before entering official operations, businesses need to prepare a dossier to request recognition of eligibility to operate as a customs agent.

Dossier include:

  • An original of written request for recognition of eligibility to operate as a customs clearance agent (Form No. 04 Circular 12/2015/TT-BTC);
  • Application for issuance of customs clearance agent employee code.

Authority to recognize customs agents and issue customs agent employee codes

Under Clause 3, Article 20 of the Customs Law 2014, the Director General of the General Department of Customs has the authority to recognize customs clearance agents.

Recognition procedures

  • Enterprises submit documents to the General Department of Customs.
  • From the date of receiving complete application documents, within 05 working days, the General Department of Customs will issue a decision to recognize customs clearance agents, issue a number code of customs clearance staff, and update the Electronic Information Portal of the General Department of Customs.
  • On the contrary, if the conditions are not met, the General Department of Customs will send a written response to the business.

For foreign companies

Currently, foreign investors who want to establish a customs agency service business can choose two ways:

Method 1: Establish a company with foreign investment. To establish a foreign-invested company providing agency services, foreign investors must take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Apply for an Investment Registration Certificate according to the provisions of the Investment Law 2020;
  • Step 2: Apply for an Enterprise Registration Certificate according to the procedures prescribed in the Enterprise Law 2020;
  • Step 3: Request recognition of customs clearance agent.

Method 2: Purchase capital contribution or shares of a Vietnamese company. To invest in this form, when contributing capital to Vietnam, investors must meet the conditions on market access for foreign investors specified in Article 24 of the Investment Law 2020.

Although there is no limit on the capital contribution ratio, foreign investors are required to establish a joint venture company in the customs agency service business. Therefore, choosing the form of establishing a customs agency service business in the form of purchasing capital contributions and shares of a Vietnamese company will be more advantageous and favorable than establishing a foreign invested company, specifically:

  • Procedures for proving financial capacity are made easier and simpler;
  • Company establishment documents are more convenient;
  • Even though members are foreign investors, foreign-invested companies will not have to carry out investment certificate procedures. This minimizes procedures when there are changes in business registration contents with competent authorities;
  • Failure to carry out procedures for updating investment information on the management system;
  • In the case of a foreign investor contributing capital or purchasing shares of a Vietnamese company providing customs agency services that already has an Enterprise Registration Certificate, including the case of purchasing 99% of the company’s capital contribution, it is also not need to carry out procedures for granting investment registration certificate.

Set up a customs clearance service company in Vietnam service of Viet An Law

  • Support and advice on conditions for establishing a customs clearance service company;
  • Drafting and preparing relevant documents;
  • Representing customers to establish a company, apply for a business license, and other post-establishment procedures;
  • Regularly advise customs clearance service companies during operations;
  • Viet An Law also provides intellectual property representation services, tax accounting services, and legal consulting services in corporate, trade, investment, labor, and dispute resolution.

To receive support and advice on the conditions to set up a customs clearance service company in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the best support.

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