Step 1: Preparation of documents for customs declaration

  • Commercial contract: 1 copy;
  • Commercial invoice: 1 original, 1 copy;
  • Bill of lading: 1 copy;
  • Packing list: 1 original, 1 copy;
  • Certificate of origin (C/O form D, E, S): 1 original;
  • Insurance invoice (if any): 1 copy;
  • Import license (if imported once): 1 copy; with a monitoring sheet (if imported multiple times): 1 copy;
  • Declaration of value: 2 originals (for customs declaration on paper) or send to the System in the form of electronic data.

Information should be cross-checked on documents to ensure consistency and accuracy. Some details that should be carefully checked are as follows:

  • Name, description, unit price, and the amount of goods on the invoice, contract
  • Number of packages, total weight of goods on the Bill of lading, Packing list
  • Check in detail the Certificate of origin with the Bill of lading, Packing list, Invoice, etc.

Step 2: VNACCS registration

The VNACCS (Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System) is the automated customs clearance system and national one-stop shop mechanism, including software such as:

  • E-declaration;
  • E- manifest;
  • Electronic invoice;
  • E-payment;
  • Electronic C/O;
  • Channeling;
  • Clearance and release of goods;
  • Others

For more information, please click here.

An electronic signature must be registered before signing up to this system.

Learn how to register for the VNACCS here.

Customs formality direction by Kuehne + Nagel

Step 3: Open and send the customs declaration form

If you choose to use e-Customs declaration software:

  • Login to your account.
  • Enter the shipment data into the declaration window and send to the system of the Customs authority.
  • Upon completion, click on “Get results” to receive a response from the Customs authority on the customs receipt number; after 10 to 15 minutes, click once again to get the customs declaration form number.
  • It takes about one hour to get the channeling results by continuing to click on the “Get results” button.
  • Print the customs declaration form out and go to the port to complete import/export procedures.
  • In case of incorrect declaration, error message box will appear on the computer screen. You have to accurately adjust the data and re-send to get the result.

Channeling results will fall into one of three categories:

  • Green channel: Goods in this channel are exempted from inspection of paper documents and actual inspection.
  • Yellow channel: Goods in this channel has to be inspected for paper documents.
  • Red channel: Goods in this channel have to go through inspection for original documents and actual inspection of goods.

Step 4: Get the delivery order

You shall go to the carrier at the address on the Arrival Notice with the documents to receive the Delivery order. The documents typically include:

  • National I.D.: 1 copy;
  • Bill of lading: 1 original (if any) with signature and title of the Director of the business (importer) and seal, 1 copy;
  • Fee.

However, you should note that:

  • If you use the Master B/L of the shipping line, you shall go to the shipping line to get the D/O.
  • Otherwise, if you use the House B/L of the freight forwarder, you shall get the D/O from that company.

Step 5: Preparation of the customs document dossier

For green channel declaration forms: bring the printed declaration result.

For yellow channel declaration form:

  • Company’s Letter of introduction;
  • Customs declaration form: 1 copy printed from the software;
  • Foreign trade contract: 1 copy;
  • Commercial invoice: 1 copy;
  • Bill of lading: 1 copy with seal from the business + seal of the shipping company (shipping line or freight forwarder);
  • International freight invoice (if transported under EXW, FOB terms): 1 copy;
  • Packing list: 1 copy;
  • Specialized inspection registration form (if the goods have to go through specialized inspection): 1 original with stamp from specialized agency;
  • Certificate of origin: 1 original (if any);
  • Certificate of quality: 1 copy (if any);
  • Certificate of analysis: 1 copy (if any);
  • Certificate of health: 1 copy (if any).

For red channel declaration form: you shall have to prepare for the Customs to perform the two following tasks:

  • Verification of documents: the documents must be prepared in line with the yellow channel declaration form.
  • Goods inspection: for this, you shall have to get the Delivery order (valid) because the container has to be transferred from the central yard to the goods inspection yard.

Step 6: Complete the final procedure

For green channel declaration result: you only need to bring the declaration result and pay the import tax and VAT, then the goods will be cleared.

For yellow channel declaration result: the Customs officer will preliminarily inspect the paper documents.

  • If the documents are up to standard, the goods shall be cleared immediately.
  • If customs officers see unclear or unreasonable points in your declaration result, they will question you and you have to submit additional documents if necessary. If satisfactory, the goods shall be cleared. If your explanation is not reasonable, Customs shall ask you to revise the declaration form accordingly. Thus, you will have to fill in and re-send the declaration form on the system. If the form is reasonably revised, Customs shall clear the goods; if not, you shall have to repeat the above steps.
  • If Customs suspect that you are dishonest in declaration, your goods may go through physical inspection (as in the red channel).

For red channel declaration result:

  • Customs shall check the declaration result and documents following the same steps as in the yellow channel.
  • When the declaration form and documents are valid, your goods will be transferred to the goods inspection department. If Customs detect errors in declaration such as inaccurate weight or type of goods, etc., the case shall be handled based on the degree of severity. If everything goes well, you can return to the Customs office to complete the clearance for your cargo.