After the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the business is slowly returning to normal in Vietnam and both European and Vietnamese companies are waiting for the enforcement of EVFTA on 1st of August. In the frame of the event “Dialogue of Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Administrative Procedure Reform with the European Business Community in Vietnam and Eurocham Whitebook 2020” held on 30th of June 2020 in Hanoi,
Vietnam, Eurocham and its 17 Sector Committee highlighted the cross-sectoral and sector-specific issues and recommendations which they believe will contribute to the Government’s aim to make Vietnam a more open, competitive and attractive place in which to do business. Here are some of those recommendations, targeting three specific industries.
Wines and Spirits
- The Government and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) need to promulgate special preferential tariffs to reduce the tariffs according to the committed schedule under the EVFTA. This tariffs should be effective as soon as the two sides complete the approval process.
- The MOF and the General Department of Customs, both on a central and local level, should promulgate regulations and guidelines to clarify the specific instructions on documents and dossiers as prescribed by the EVFTA.
- Implementing regulations and guidelines on Rules of Origin especially for goods transported via intermediate ports located in third party countries of the EVFTA (such as Singapore or Hong Kong).
- The MOF should consult the Vietnamese Government to maintain the predictability and stability of the current Special Consumption Tax system.
Nutritional Food Group (NFG)
- Companies are waiting for an updated Draft Law on SCT with amendments that excise tax will not be imposed on sugary drinks. In case the Government considers that an excise tax on sugary drinks is necessary, it is recommended replacing the term “sugary drinks” with “sugared thirst-quenching beverages”.
- Exclude “milk, milk products and functional foods” from coverage of SCT’s taxable items as these products play a critical role in achieving national goals of improving public health as per Resolution 20-NQ/TW, dated 5 October 2017 of the Party’s Central Committee, and Decision 1092//QD-TTg.
- At the end of Clause 2, Article 8, it is said that: If an international treaty or international standard to which Vietnam is a contracting party contains provisions on the absence of a component, the provisions of such international treaty or international standard shall be applied. In order to harmonize with the international law on “Goods Labelling”, it would be useful to amend Article 8 of Circular 05/2019/TT-BKHCN to be consistent with the standards of Codex on Labels Nutrition CAC/GL 23-1997, in particular to remove or add to the end of Clause 2, Article 8 the following sentence: “If the above conditions are not met, when Vietnam does not have a specific level that could be published, the regulations or recommendations of another country, or a scientific organization should be used instead. The name of regulations/recommendations, together with the name of the country or scientific organization should be indicated on the label.”
- Regarding the labelling of imported customs clearance, Clause 2, Article 21 of the Draft Regulation on sanctioning administrative violations in the field of customs should be removed.
- The industry highly supports and would propose to manage cosmetics with a post-market surveillance approach and remove the requirement on Certificate of Free Sale for imported cosmetics from all countries into Vietnam. The Ministry of Health (MOH) should extend the removal to all countries, particularly to EU Member States, in view of the imminent entry into force of EVFTA.
- It is suggested that the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency outline clear solutions to increase the efficiency of management of E-Commerce platforms to create a fairer and healthier business environment for all stakeholders within the cosmetics industry who are complying with the law and regulations.
- It was suggested to apply a VAT exemption for goods which are donated to all political-social organizations, regardless of the original purpose of the imported products.
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