16 March 2023

The Vietnam Ministry of Finance has released for comment a draft circular on determining the origin of imported and exported goods (“draft Circular”). The draft Circular consolidates provisions currently encapsulated in other legal instruments and also provides guidance on procedures to certify the origin of imported and exported goods to be in line with trade practices and international commitments such as under the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (“EVFTA”) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Summary of key provisions

The draft Circular provides for circumstances where specified documentation must be submitted to the customs authority certifying the origin of goods being imported into Vietnam. The circumstances listed include: where special preferential tax rates for imported goods originating from countries with agreements with Vietnam is sought, the goods require proof of origin to show that they are not embargoed or are from countries that pose a risk as set out in the Appendix to the draft Circular.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Certificates of Origin (“COs”) were able to be submitted online. The draft Circular continues to allow this, providing that the documentation can be submitted through the Customs electronic data processing system as prescribed in Article 18 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC (item two in the table below).

Goods subject to special preferential tax rates are given up to one year from the date of the relevant customs declaration in which to provide COs. This is a significant increase from the previously prescribed 30 days. Imported goods with COs issued according to free trade agreements between Vietnam and specified partners will be allowed two years to produce the certificate. 

Where the goods being imported are subject to anti-dumping tax, anti-subsidy tax, safeguard measures, tariff quota measures, measures to evade trade remedies and quantity restriction measures as prescribed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the payable tax is guaranteed by a credit institution, the tax rate declared shall be applied and the goods shall be cleared allowing a CO to be provided within 30 days.

Circulars to be replaced

The circulars that will be repealed and replaced upon the coming into force of the draft Circular are set out in the table below.






No. 07/2021/TT-BTC

25 January 2021

Sets out proof of origin submission times under EVFTA


No. 47/2020/TT-BTC

27 May 2020

Provides the procedure for submission of proof of origin document during the Covid-19 pandemic, including introduction of online submission


No. 38/2018/TT-BTC

20 April 2018

Relates to the determining origin of imported and exported goods, as amended by Ministry of Finance Circular No. 62/2019/TT-BTC dated 5 September 2019