Noteworthy issues with respect to beer and wine export

In recent years, there has been a noticeable upward trend among Vietnamese beer and wine manufacturers as they increasingly export their products to foreign markets. Key players among Vietnamese enterprises include SABECO and HABECO, which have targeted prominent markets such as the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Sweden, among others. As these “giants” blaze the trail, a growing number of Vietnamese breweries and distilleries aspire to introduce their products to international markets for further expansion and development. In light of this, Apolat Legal is pleased to offer noteworthy insights into the export of beer and wine as below: 

Noteworthy issues with respect to beer and wine export
Noteworthy issues with respect to beer and wine export

1. Beer and wine export policies 

Under Decree No. 69/2018/ND-CP (“Decree No. 69 ”), beers, wines, spirits and liquors (collectively referred to as beer and wine) are not on the List of goods to be exported under certain conditions or permits, which means that beer and wine manufacturers may not apply for any export permit. 

However, under Decree No. 69, any enterprise, upon export of beer and wine, may apply for a Certificate of Free Sale (“CFS”) depending on the needs of the exporter or at the request of the importing country. 

1.1 Conditions for granting CFS 

Under Clause 1, Article 11 of Decree No. 69/2018/ND-CP, any competent ministry or ministerial-level agency may grant a CFS for exported goods if:  

  • The export trader applies for CFS for the goods. 
  • The goods’ declared applicable standards comply with the applicable law. 

1.2 Details of a CFS 

Under Clause 2, Article 11 and Clause 3, Article 10 of Decree No. 69/2018/ND-CP, a CFS has the following details:  

  • CFS for exported goods must be in English and contain at least the following details: Name of the agency or organization granting the CFS; Serial number and date of grant of the CFS; Names of products and goods for which the CFS is granted; Types or categories of products and goods for which the CFS is granted; Name and address of the manufacturer; Information showing that the products and goods are manufactured and permitted for free sale in the market of the country of manufacture or country granting the CFS; Full name and signature of the CFS signatory, and seal of the agency or organization granting the CFS.
  • If an importing country requires the trader to submit a CFS made according to the form issued by such country, the CFS-granting agency shall grant a CFS made according to this form. 

1.3 Procedures for grant of a CFS for exported goods 

To be granted a CFS, exported goods need to undergo the following process: Based on the procedures for grant of a CFS for exported goods:   

Step 1: Prepare a dossier comprising documents including:    

  • An application for a CFS, stating the names and HS codes of goods, product standard certification numbers or registration numbers or standard codes (if any), composition and content of compounds (if any), and importing country: 1 original, expressed in Vietnamese and English. 
  • The investment certificate or business registration certificate or enterprise registration certificate: 1 photocopy bearing the trader’s seal.  
  • A list of manufacturing establishments (if any) with their names and addresses and goods manufactured for export: 1 original.  
  • A list of declared applicable standards for products and goods, together with their expressions (on goods labels or packages or documents accompanying the products and goods): 1 photocopy bearing the trader’s seal. 

Step 2: Submit the dossier:

The trader sends one dossier set of the above-mentioned documents in person or by post or online (if applicable) to the CFS-granting agency under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade1, namely: 

  • Foreign Trade Office in Hanoi – Agency of Foreign Trade – Ministry of Industry and Trade, address: No. 25 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. 
  • Foreign Trade Office in Da Nang – Agency of Foreign Trade – Ministry of Industry and Trade, address: No. 7B Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City.  
  • Foreign Trade Office in Ho Chi Minh City – Agency of Foreign Trade – Ministry of Industry and Trade, address: 8th floor, No.12 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Building, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. 

Step 3: The competent agency receives and processes the dossier 

  • If the dossier is incomplete or invalid, within 3 working days after receiving it, the CFS-granting agency shall notify such to the trader for completing the dossier. 
  • A CFS shall be granted within 3 working days from the date a trader submits a complete and valid dossier. If refusing to grant a CFS, the CFS-granting agency shall issue a written reply, stating the reason therefor. 
  • The CFS-granting agency may carry out an inspection at the manufacturing establishment if seeing that the examination of the dossier is not enough for grant of a CFS or detecting signs of violation with respect to the previously granted CFS. 
  • CFS shall be granted in a quantity requested by the trader.  

(Article 11.3 of Decree No. 69/2018/ND-CP) 

2. Goods labeling  

Under Article 10 of Decree No. 43/2017/ND-CP amended by Clause 5, Article 1 of Decree No. 111/2021/ND-CP, exported goods shall be labeled in accordance with the law of the importing country.  It is specified as follows: 

Regarding origin of goods 

  • Manufacturers, importers or exporters shall themselves identify and inscribe the origin of their goods, ensuring truthfulness, accuracy and compliance with the law on origin of exported goods, imported goods and domestically manufactured goods of Vietnam or international commitments to which Vietnam is a contracting party. 
  • The origin of goods shall be displayed on goods labels by one the following phrases: “made in;” “manufactured in;” “country of manufacture;” “origin;” “manufactured by;” and “product of,” followed by the name of the country or territory where the goods is made or shall be displayed in accordance with the law on goods origin. 
  • The name of country or territory where the goods are made must not be abbreviated.  

(Article 1.5 of Decree No. 111/2021/ND-CP) 

Regarding contents of a goods label 

  • Organizations or persons responsible for goods may show codes, barcodes, standard conformity marks, regulation conformity marks and other contents (if any) on goods labels.  Such additional contents must not contravene the law and must be truthful, accurate and true to the nature of goods, and neither hide, nor cause misunderstanding about, the compulsory contents of the labels. 
  • A goods label must not show images, sovereignty dispute-related contents or other contents detrimental to security, politics, economy, society, diplomatic relations and fine customs and practices of Vietnam.  

(Article 18 of Decree No. 43/2017/ND-CP) 

3. HS Codes for beer and wine 

HS Codes of beer and wine are specified in Circular No. 31/2022/TT-BTC. Accordingly, some HS Codes for reference are mentioned below:  

Beer  Wine 
Item Description  HS Code  Item Description  HS Code 
Non-alcoholic beer  2202.91.00  

 

Sparkling wine  2204.10.00 
Stout or porter 

(Of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 5.8 % vol.) 

2203.00.11  Wine 

(Of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 15 % vol.)   

2204.21.11 
Stout or porter 

(Other) 

2203.00.19  Wine 

(Of an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 15 % vol. but not exceeding 23 % vol.) 

2204.21.13 
Other, including ale 

(Of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 5.8 % vol.) 

2203.00.91     
Other, including ale 

(Other) 

2203.00.99     

  

4. Excise tax and value added tax on beer and wine  

  • Under Point c, Clause 1, Article 2 of the Consolidated Text No. 08/VBHN-VPQH, beer and wine are subject to excise tax. However, if the enterprises manufacture beer and wine for export, the products are not subject to excise tax (Clause 1, Article 3 of Consolidated Text No. 08/VBHN-VPQH.)   
  • Under Article 9 of the Consolidated Text No. 21/VBHN-BTC 2021, the VAT applicable to exported beer and wine is 0%. 

 

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