In Feb 2017, there was an incredible incident that cost a lot of money for a shipper in EU and time consuming trouble for a consignee in Vietnam who bought the equipment from the said shipper. Following story may be useful for you in dealing with day to day handling & operation to avoid such trouble.

ETA Hai Phong, Vietnam: Feb 2017

Term: EXW (a place in EU)

Volume: 01x40’ (G.W: 6,490 kgs)

Upon arrival, the consignee proceeded customs formality & paid import duty before clearance. However, the shipment was randomly chosen under red line (i.e. physical inspection by customs officers)

FYI, under Vietnam customs regulation, there are 3 levels of control:

i/ Green line: electronic document submission, pay duty, no inspection and take delivery

ii/ Yellow line: hard copy submission, pay duty, no inspection and take delivery

iii/ Red line: hard copy submission, pay duty, physical inspection and take delivery

At the time of opening the container, all of concerned parties were totally upset. The container was empty and there was no trace of any equipment inside. There was no special remark from carrier manifest or report from the port although V.G.M data existed. A report then was made in witnesses of customs, carrier’s agent, port representative and consignee.

Finally, the shipper has discovered that by some way cargo was still left at their warehouse and they immediately sent the equipment by airfreight to Vietnam. Consignee received the cargo after few days but shipper had to bear all the airfreight cost as a result. Consignee did not have to pay double duties since

Fortunately, the shipment was under red line, therefore the consignee can prove that there was no cargo inside the container. In case of no customs inspection, the container was haulaged to consignee’s premises then the consequences would be:

i/ Consignee is not able to prove with customs authority that the container was empty

ii/ Consignee has to pay double duty due to substitute shipment

(they may apply for reimbursement later but it’s very complicated & time consuming)

Hope it is helpful for you and please feel free to contact me if you need any further assistance in Vietnam