Vietnam to issue a tax decree on cross-border e-commerce
Vietnam is preparing regulations for a boom in e-commerce

The Vietnam E-Business Index (EBI) report by the Vietnam E-commerce Association reveals that Vietnam's e-commerce market posted an average annual growth rate of 25-30 per cent over the past five years. If Vietnam maintains this growth rate, the market size in 2025 will be ranked third in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia and Thailand.

Therefore, Vietnam is taking efforts to develop legislation better to regulate the growing cross-border e-commerce activities. Most recently, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has sent an official dispatch to consult ministries and branches for comments on the draft decree on the management of export-import goods transacted through e-commerce.

The ministry said that goods imported and exported through e-commerce platforms have increased rapidly during the pandemic and sale seasons. However, customs procedures for e-commerce goods are carried out as for ordinary goods, causing some problems for regulatory bodies.

Some buyers fail to submit or present a paper related to the value of e-commerce goods to determine the taxable amount. With the increasing number of cross-border e-commerce packages, custom departments have to find solutions to speed up goods clearance to reduce congestion at the border gate. The customs authority does not have prior information about the type of goods to decide whether to carry out inspection or not.

In addition, Vietnam does not impose import tax on packages worth VND1 million ($44) each or lower delivered via postal and delivery services. Some people have taken advantage of this policy to divide their cross-border e-commerce goods into smaller-value packages to evade tax.

To remove this loophole, the MoF proposes each organisation or individual will be free of import tax for maximum four orders every month. Meanwhile, packages valued more than $44 with import tax amount above VND100,000 ($4.39) will be subjected to tax payment.

The draft decree also mentions the process to speed up customs clearance for imported and exported goods through the e-commerce platforms. If approved, this decree is expected to take effect from January 1, 2023.

Source: VIR

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