Vietnam considers tightening import tax on e-commerce deliveries

By Quynh Trang   September 4, 2021 | 05:26 pm PT
Vietnam considers tightening import tax on e-commerce deliveries
A person uses the app of an e-commerce platform. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Trang
The Ministry of Finance is considering limiting the import of low-value packages through e-commerce platforms to close a suspected loophole.

It wants to issue a new decree to limit each organization or individual buyer to be free of import tax on four orders at most each month.

The proposal came amid the rising popularity of shopping on e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, with many products delivered directly from China.

Vietnam currently does not apply an import tax on packages with a value of VND1 million ($44) or lower delivered via postal and delivery services.

However, because there is no limit on the number of packages being sent, many buyers take advantage of this policy and split its goods into small packages to avoid tax, according to the Ministry of Finance.

In the first six months last year, Hanoi alone imported $1 billion worth of products via postal and delivery services. The value in June was five times that of January, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Finance.

A Hanoi company that imports products for Shopee and Lazada saw its value of imported products surging 50 times year-on-year to $70 million in the first quarter of 2021, the ministry said.

Vietnam’s e-commerce market has seen an average annual growth rate of 25-30 percent in the last five years, according to Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM).

Should the growth rate be maintained, Vietnam would rank third in e-commerce market size in Southeast Asia by 2025, behind Indonesia and Thailand.

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