The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is providing guidelines to remove obstacles for enterprises importing cell phones for special proposes, according to Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon newspaper.
Many enterprises, including the HCMC-based Gameloft Co, have failed to import cell phones for their own special purposes due to a regulation released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in May to restrict the import of such items to trim down trade deficit.
Under the regulation of the ministry effective from June 1, the Announcement No.197/TB-BCT, mobile phones, wine and cosmetic products are only allowed for import through the seaports in Hai Phong, Da Nang and HCMC.
Later on July 12, the ministry released Dispatch 6318/BCT-XNK, asking local customs offices not to apply the regulation on non-commercial cargoes.
Therefore, cell phones imported for research and experiment or maintenance and repair are still accepted.
But cell phone import for these purposes is still disallowed at present.
Gameloft Co, specializing in research and production of game software applicable on mobile phones for export to the Asian and the European markets, could not import cell phones in the past six months to carry out game software experiments.
It has to import some 200 cell phones a month, some of which are by express service.
Nguyen Quoc Toan from the HCMC Customs Department said enterprises are suffering from Dispatch 6318 in which the trade ministry requests the General Customs Department to control the volume and value of non- commercial cargoes, but specific figures have yet to be issued.
The city customs office will find solutions for each imported cargo based on the import purpose as well as volume and value supplied by enterprises, Toan said, adding that the procedures for each cargo will be cleared only a half day.
If there was no regulation on import purpose, volume and value, enterprises would likely import en masses cell phones, wine and cosmetic products to serve the demand during Lunar New Year holiday, he added.
Imported products for non-commercial purposes are currently imposed the same tax rate as the commercial ones. In addition, non- commercial importers do not have to submit authorized documents of producers as stipulated by the trade ministry.