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February 2024 News Summary

1. Resolution No. 25/NQ-CP of 2024 proposing the development of the special consumption tax law (amendment) issued by the government


Issued by: Government

Issued date: 27 February, 2024. Effective date: 27 February, 2024


On 27 February, 2024, the Government issued Resolution 25/NQ-CP on the proposal to develop the Law on Excise Tax (amended).


Some notable contents of Resolution 25/NQ-CP mainly include:


  • Study and not add to Policy 5 of the proposal to develop a new Law on mixed tax calculation methods for alcohol and beer products in accordance with the Prime Minister's Tax System Reform Strategy to 2030 and Vietnam's commitments when joining the WTO;

  • The progress of the Law project submission is as follows:

(i) The Government shall submit to the National Assembly Standing Committee a proposal to add the Law project to the 2024 Law and Ordinance development program at its 7th session (May 2024);


(ii) The Government shall submit to the National Assembly for comments on the Law project at the 8th Session (October 2024) and approve the Law project at the 9th Session (May 2025).


At the same time, the Government assigns the Ministry of Finance to complete the dossier of Law Making Proposal and send it to the Ministry of Justice to carry out procedures to submit to the National Assembly Standing Committee for proposal to add this Law project to the Law Making Program and Ordinances of the National Assembly in 2025, adjusting the Law Making Program, Ordinance 2024 in accordance with the Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents 2015


2. Circular No. 15/2023/TT-BLDTBXH amending and supplementing a number of articles of circular No. 28/2015/TT-BLDTBXH dated 31 July, 2015 guiding the implementation of articles of the government's decree No. 28/2015/ND-CP dated 12 March, 2015 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the employment law on unemployment insurance


Issued by: The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs

Issued date: 29 December, 2023. Effective date: 15 February, 2024


On 29 December, 2023, the Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs issued Circular No.15/2023/TT-BLDTBXH amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 28/2015/TT-BLDTBXH guiding the implementation of Article 52 of the Employment Law 2013 and a number of articles of Decree No. 28/2015/ND-CP detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Employment Law 2013 on unemployment insurance.


Accordingly, an employee who is receiving unemployment benefits is not required to directly notify monthly about the job search if the notice period for the job search falls within the period when the employee falls into one of the following cases:


  • Male from full 60 years old, female from full 55 years old; (New compared to current regulations)

  • The illness is certified by a competent medical institution;

  • Maternity leave certified by a competent medical institution.


Particularly in case a man whose wife dies after childbirth but has to directly raise the child, the confirmation documents are the child's birth certificate and the mother's death certificate; (New compared to current regulations)


  • Having an accident certified by the traffic police or a competent medical institution;

  • Being subjected to fires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, enemy disasters or epidemics certified by the Presidents of the People's Committees of communes, wards or townships;

  • The employee's father, mother, spouse or child dies; the employee or the employee's child is married with a certificate from the People's Committee of the commune, ward or township;

  • Being participating in vocational training courses under the decision of the Director of the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs and certified by the vocational training institution; (New compared to current regulations)

  • Performance of labor contracts with a definite term of less than 03 months; (New compared to current regulations)

  • Going to voluntary detoxification certified by the detoxification establishment or certified by the Chairman of the People's Committee of the commune, ward or township; (New compared to current regulations)

  • Relocate to receive subsidies according to Clause 5 Article 10 of Circular No. 28/2015/TTBLDTBXH. (New compared to current regulations)


The employee must inform the employment service center (via phone, email, fax, ...) about the reason for not having to notify in person and within 03 working days from the last day of the monthly notification period about the job search as prescribed, at the same time send a certified letter or authorize another person to submit the original or certified copy of one of the above documents proving that it is not required to notify directly to the employment service center where unemployment benefits are being received, except in the case of a male who is full 60 years of age or older, female at least 55 years old.


In the case of sending by post, the date considered to have sent the notice is the date of delivery indicated on the postmark.


3. Circular No. 06/2024/TT-BTC amendments to certain articles of circular No. 81/2019/TT-BTC dated 15 Nov, 2019 on risk management on customs operation


Issued by: Ministry of Finance

Issued date: 29 January, 2024. Effective date: 15 March, 2024


On 29 January, 2024, The Minister of Finance hereby promulgates a Circular on amendments to certain articles of Circular No. 81/2019/TT-BTC dated 15 November, 2019 on risk management in customs operation as follows:


- Classification of risk levels of customs declarants from March 15, 2024.


Accordingly, Customs declarants shall be classified in one of the following risk levels:


  • Level 1: Prioritized enterprises are enterprises specified in Point a Clause 1 Article 12 of this Circular.

  • Level 2: Customs declarants with very low risks.

  • Level 3: Customs declarants with low risks.

  • Level 4: Customs declarants with moderate risks.

  • Level 5: Customs declarants with high risks.

  • Level 6: Customs declarants with very high risks.

  • Level 7: Customs declarants who are not involved in goods import and export activities for 365 days before the date of assessment and have not been penalized for violations against regulations on customs and other regulations by customs authorities.

  • Level 8: Customs declarants who are not involved in goods import and export activities for 365 days before the date of assessment and have been penalized for violations against regulations on customs and other regulations by customs authorities, except for the acts specified in Level 9 of this Article.

  • Level 9: Customs declarants who are not involved in goods import and export activities for 365 days before the date of assessment and have been penalized for one of the violations specified in Sections I and II Appendix VI enclosed herewith

- Classification of legal compliance degrees of customs declarants from 15 March, 2024.


Customs authorities shall assess and classify legal compliance degrees of customs declarants involved in import or export and immigration activities for 365 consecutive days before the date of assessment according to one of the following levels:


  • Level 1: Prioritized enterprises.

  • Level 2: Highly compliant.

  • Level 3: Moderately compliant.

  • Level 4: Poorly compliant.

  • Level 5: Incompliant.


- Risk levels for customs declarants from Grade 2 to Grade 6 are classified according to the regulations in Article 15 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP and the following provisions:


(i) Compliance level of customs declarants, port operating enterprises, warehouses, as regulated in Article 10 of Circular No. 81/2019/TT-BTC


(ii) Establishment time; operational headquarters; workshop scale; number of employees; type of enterprise; information about enterprise owners; capital; participation in the stock market; appropriate certification for ISO 9001 International Standards.


(iii) Operational time, frequency, routes; goods, types of exports, imports; export-import turnover, total taxes paid; revenue, profit; results of customs inspections, supervision, post-clearance inspections, investigations, customs inspections, tax authorities, and other relevant agencies; results of customs inspections regarding conditions for establishing, recognizing port, warehouse, and yard enterprises; results of customs inspections for port operating enterprises, warehouses, and yards in implementing customs supervision regulations for exported, imported goods, and transit.


(iv) Frequency, nature, extent of violations, and compliance with customs laws, tax management laws, tax compliance laws; compliance with postal, transportation, trade, quality measurement standards, and other laws related to export, import, exit, entry, and transit activities.


(v) History of violations related to cargo owners, senders, recipients.


(vi) Objectives, customs management requirements for each period.


(vii) Signs of risk, signs of violations of customs laws, tax management laws, and tax laws


(viii) Cooperation with customs authorities in providing enterprise information


- Amendments regarding classification, decision to review tax refund files, non-tax collection for exported and imported goods


(i) High risk: Pre-inspection, post-refund


(ii) Medium risk: Pre-refund, post-inspection, and inspections conducted within 5 years from the date of issuing the refund decision (the previous regulation was 3 years).


(iii) Low risk: Pre-refund, post-inspection, and random inspections conducted within 5 years from the date of issuing the refund decision.


4. Official letter No. 558/TCT-CS value added tax policy issued by the general department of taxation


Issued by: General Department of Taxation

Issued date: 20 February, 2024


The General Department of Taxation issued Official Letter No. 558/TCT-CS providing guidance on handling tax refunds for on-the-spot exports and imports as follows:


20 February, 2024 On 12 July, 2023, the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued Official Letter No. 3622/TCHQ-GSQL responding to problems related to foreign traders not present in Vietnam. Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of Clause 2 Article 3 of the Government's Decree No. 90/2007/ND-CP dated 31 May, 2007 on export rights of foreign traders not present in Vietnam and Clause 5 Article 3 of the Law on Foreign Trade Management No. 05/2017/QH14 dated 12 June, 2017: if it is determined that the foreign trader has made investment activities, doing business in Vietnam in the forms prescribed in the law on investment, commerce and enterprises; having representative offices or branches in Vietnam in accordance with the provisions of commercial law, enterprises are not in cases where foreign traders are not present in Vietnam.


In case it is determined that a foreign trader does not fall into the case where the foreign trader is not present in Vietnam, goods purchased and sold between this Vietnamese enterprise and this foreign trader and designated for another enterprise to be delivered in Vietnam do not fall into the case of on-site export/import specified at Point c, Clause 1, Article 35 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP dated 21 January, 2015 of the Government and Point c, Clause 1, Article 86 of Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated 25 March, 2015 of the Ministry of Finance.


In case the customs authority determines that the enterprise opens an export declaration on the spot in accordance with the provisions of Point c, Clause 1, Article 35 of Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP, the tax authority shall not settle the tax refund because it does not meet the conditions for customs declaration as prescribed.


Request the Tax Department to coordinate with relevant Customs authorities, based on the provisions of the law on VAT, relevant laws on goods exported on the spot and the actual situation of the unit to guide the unit to implement.


5. Official letter No. 333/BHXH-CSXH guiding the settlement of on-time social insurance benefits


Issued by: Vietnam Social Security

Issued date: 05 February, 2024


On 05 February, 2024, Vietnam Social Security issued Official Letter No. 333/BHXH-CSXH guiding the settlement of one-time social insurance benefits.


Review and handle cases where one-time social insurance benefits are not in accordance with regulations.


Accordingly, in order to settle the regime and policies in accordance with the provisions of law, promptly withdraw to the social insurance fund when detecting the decision to enjoy the wrong regime; Vietnam Social Insurance requests the Social Insurance of provinces and centrally-run cities (provincial social insurance) to review and handle cases of one-time social insurance benefits that are not in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Social Insurance 2006, the Law on Social Insurance 2014, Resolution No. 93/2015/QH13 dated 22 June, 2015, Decree No. 115/2015/ND-CP, Decree No. 134/2015/ND-CP and guiding documents, specifically as follows:


- For cases of one-time social insurance benefits that are not in accordance with regulations, the provincial social insurance/district social insurance, provincial town or city (district social insurance) shall issue a one-time social insurance benefit decision (Decision) according to the settlement decentralization (hereinafter collectively referred to as the settlement place) in coordination with the relevant provincial/district social insurance (if any) to determine the specific cause, Do the following:


  • The social insurance of the province / district where the settlement is settled, cancel the one-time social insurance benefit decision and the decision to adjust the benefit level on the basis of the consumer price index of each period (if any) and recover the improperly spent amount to the social insurance fund.

  • When detecting that the beneficiary of one-time social insurance is not in accordance with the regulations resolved by the social insurance of another province / district, the social insurance of the province / district where the policy review software (TCS) is detected to the social insurance of the province / district where it is settled.

  • On the first day of the following month, make a report on the results of reviewing and revoking one-time social insurance that is not in accordance with regulations according to the Notice of audit results 702/TB-KTNN dated 25 December, 2019, 702/TB-KTNN dated 02/12/2022 of the State Audit and other cases of withdrawal of the previous month according to the contents mentioned in Point 1.1, Clause 1, sample in Appendix I, II enclosed with Official Letter No. 333/BHXH-CSXH, digitally signed on TCS software.


- In case it is discovered that a person with many social insurance codes or has paid social insurance in accordance with regulations has received social insurance once (paying the wrong object, coinciding with the process of participating in social insurance), the decision on enjoyment shall be canceled, withdraw the amount spent as prescribed in Clause 1 of Official Letter 333/BHXH-CSXH and refund the amount paid for social insurance, unemployment insurance (unemployment insurance) is not in accordance with regulations, and at the same time withdraws benefits for sickness, maternity, convalescence, health rehabilitation, labor accidents, occupational diseases, unemployment insurance arising due to the process of paying social insurance and unemployment insurance in contravention of such regulations (if any).


- In case of detecting the situation of borrowing judicial documents to enter into labor contracts and participate in social insurance and unemployment insurance, based on the provisions of law (Labor Code 2019, Civil Code 2015), instructions of competent agencies and Vietnam Social Insurance for consideration, processing according to regulations.


- Directors of social insurance of provinces and centrally-run cities shall direct and thoroughly consult professional departments and civil servants and officials on solutions to ensure compliance with the provisions of the policy, minimize the cancellation of decisions and recovery of the amount of social insurance paid.


6. Official letter No. 114/TCHQ-GSQL regarding business location of export-processing enterprises


Issued by: Ministry of Finance

Issued date: 09 January, 2024


Regarding the questions from the Customs Department of Hai Phong City, on January 9, 2024, the General Department of Customs provided some opinions regarding the business locations of export enterprises as follows:


The operations of export enterprises are regulated under Article 26 of Decree No. 35/2022/ND-CP dated May 28, 2022, of the Government on the management of industrial parks and economic zones. Accordingly, Decree No. 35/2022/ND-CP does not stipulate the application of mechanisms for export enterprises regarding their business locations.

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