THE MINISTRY OF TRADE-THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Ha Noi , January 10, 2007
Guiding the import of cigarettes and cigars prescribed in the Government's Decree no. 12/2006/ND-CP of January 23, 2006, detailing the implementation of the commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase and goods sale, purchase, processing and transit agency activities with foreign countries
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 29/2004/ND-CP of January 16, 2004, defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Trade;
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 55/2003/ND-CP of May 28, 2003, defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Industry;
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 12/2006/ND-CP of January 23, 2006, detailing the implementation of the Commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase and goods sale, purchase, processing and transit agency with foreign countries;
The Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry hereby jointly guide the import of cigarettes and cigars as follows:
I. General principles:
1. Cigarettes and cigars are products produced wholly or partially from tobacco materials for smoking.
2. To promulgate in Appendix 01 to this Circular a list of cigarettes and cigars to be imported by state commercial enterprises.
3. Tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars, are commodity items not encouraged for consumption in accordance with the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party. The State shall manage the production and import of cigarettes and cigars and control the supply, circulation and consumption of tobacco products on the market. Only designated state commercial enterprises are permitted to import cigarettes and cigars for domestic trading.
4. The import of sample cigarettes and cigars in service of production is not governed by Sections II and III of this Circular and must be approved in writing by the Industry Ministry.
5. The import of sample cigarettes and cigars for participation in trade fairs or exhibitions is not governed by Sections II and III of this Circular and must be approved in writing by the Trade Ministry. These imported sample cigarettes and cigars may not be consumed in Vietnam.
6. The import of cigarettes and cigars for sale in duty free shops is not governed by Sections II and III of this Circular but complies with the guidance in the Trade Ministry's Circular No. 21/1998/TT-BTM of December 24, 1998, guiding the implementation of the Regulation on duty-free shops, issued together with the Prime Minister's Decision No. 205/1998/QD-TTg of October 19, 1998.
7. The temporary import for re-export and border-gate transfer of cigarettes and cigars shall be conducted in accordance with the Government's Decree No. 12/2006/ND-CP of January 23, 2006, detailing the implementation of the Commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase and goods sale, purchase, processing and transit agency with foreign countries. Procedures for temporary import for re-export and border-gate transfer are carried out directly at the border-gate customs offices.
II. Designation of state commercial enterprises, import procedures and border-gates of importation
1. Importing state commercial enterprises
To designate the Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation (Vinataba) to be the state commercial enterprise in charge of importing cigarettes and cigars for 03 years from the effective date of this Circular.
2. Import procedures
To apply the automatic licensing mechanism to imported cigarettes and cigars. The procedures for automatic licensing are as follows:
a/ When carrying out import procedures, apart from the import dossier required by the customs office, the state commercial enterprise shall produce to the customs office an application for automatic import registration, certified by the Trade Ministry, and a valid copy of the certificate of sample analysis prescribed in Clause 4, Section III of this Circular.
b/ The import registration application shall be made under the guidance in Appendix 02 to this Circular (not printed herein).
3. Cigarettes and cigars may only be imported into Vietnam through international border gates.
III. Requirements on imported cigarettes and cigars
1. Cigarettes and cigars which are imported and circulated on market must be registered for trademark protection in Vietnam, comply with regulations on products circulated in the Vietnamese market and be affixed with imported-cigarette stamps as prescribed by the Finance Ministry.
2. Imported cigarettes and cigars shall be circulated in the domestic market in accordance with current regulations on distribution, wholesale agency and retail of cigarettes.
3. Imported cigarettes and cigars must comply with regulations on food safety and hygiene, inspection of product quality and contents of some toxic substances in cigarettes as prescribed by competent agencies under the FCTC.
4. For cigarettes and cigars imported into Vietnam for the first time, before carrying out import procedures, importers shall send their samples to agencies or organizations designated by a competent state body for analysis based on Vietnamese standards. These sample analysis certificates are valid for all lots of imported goods of the same product brands supplied from one source.
5. Imported cigarettes and cigars must comply with the provisions of law on labeling tobacco products for consumption in Vietnam; and bearing the name of the country of origin and the phrase "for supply for the Vietnamese market" to indicate the consumption market.
IV. Organization of implementation and handling of violations
1. The Minister of Trade authorizes leaders of the Import and Export Department to certify applications for automatic import registration.
3. After three years, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry shall coordinate with concerned ministries and branches in reviewing the implementation of this Circular so as to consider extension of the import duration for Vinataba or allow other state commercial enterprises to import cigarettes and cigars.
3. The Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry shall suspend or refuse to extend the import of cigarettes or cigars for cases of violation of this Circular or relevant provisions of law. Violating organizations and individuals shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be handled in accordance with law.
4. Quarterly, the state commercial enterprise shall report to the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry on the import and consumption of cigarettes and cigars, clearly stating the categories, quantity, import value, sale prices, networks for wholesale and retail of imported cigarettes in the domestic market and the proposed import plan for the subsequent period (made according to a set form).
Before September 30, the state commercial enterprise shall send a report on the import situation and the subsequent year's import plan (in replacement of the report for the 3rd quarter) to the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry.
5. This Circular takes effect 15 days after its publication in "CONG BAO."
Phan The Rue
Chau Hue Cam