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Import Procedures for Cameras and Surveillance Equipment in 2023 - The Latest Notes

I. Importing Camera Procedures

Are you planning to import surveillance cameras for your business operations in Vietnam? Are you looking for the current import tax rates for this product? Additionally, are you interested in whether there are any import tax incentives for surveillance cameras? How are the camera import procedures carried out? What is the process for importing surveillance cameras?

In this article, H-Cargo, with many years of experience in providing import services for surveillance cameras to various businesses and individuals nationwide, will accompany you, providing detailed advice and answering related questions.

II. Import Policies and Regulations

The import procedures for cameras are regulated through the following documents:

  • Circular 30/2011/TT-BTTTT dated October 31, 2011

  • Circular 15/2014/TT-BTTTT dated November 15, 2014

  • Circular 14/2015/TT-BTC dated January 30, 2015

  • Official Letter 20/BTTTT-CNTT dated January 7, 2015

  • Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015, amended and supplemented by Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC dated April 20, 2018

  • Decree 69/2018/NĐ-CP dated May 15, 2018

  • Circular 15/2018/TT-BTTTT dated November 15, 2018

Based on these documents, certain types of cameras for recording are not in the prohibited import list. However, for specific types of recording cameras, importing may require a license from the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Specifically, the following types of cameras require an import license:

  • Webcams

  • Cameras used for broadcasting

  • Digital cameras or similar devices

  • Television cameras

  • Other digital cameras used for television, digital cameras

  • Cameras for image recording

  • Parts for digital cameras or video cameras

In summary, cameras capable of transmitting data via wireless waves usually require quality checks and compliance with the standards of the Ministry of Information and Communications during the import process.

III. Camera HS Codes

The first step in the camera import procedure is to determine the corresponding HS (Harmonized System) code. The HS code will specify the import tax policies applicable to the camera and also determine the item classification in the import and export tariff.

The HS code for cameras is shown as follows:

The import tax rates mentioned above are preferential rates for import activities. To enjoy the special preferential import tax rate, the goods must have a Certificate of Origin (C/O).

For imported shipments from countries such as Europe, India, Australia, Chile, China, South Korea, Japan, and ASEAN countries, importers need to request the supplier to provide a Certificate of Origin. This will help them benefit from the lowest applicable import tax rate for cameras.

Although some types of recording cameras have a 0% import tax, having or not having a Certificate of Origin may not be crucial. However, during the import process, declaring the Certificate of Origin should also be done to avoid applying the wrong HS code for cameras.

IV. Preparing Import Documentation

The list of essential documents to complete the customs clearance procedure for camera items includes:

  • Customs declaration form

  • Sales contract

  • Commercial invoice

  • Packing list

  • Bill of lading

  • Catalog (if available), and other documents as required by customs authorities.

Among these, the most important document is the customs declaration form, inspection certificates, commercial invoices, and bills of lading. Additional documents will be provided as requested by the customs authorities.

In this list, the customs declaration form is usually filled out after the goods have arrived at the port. However, other documents need to be prepared in advance to avoid arranging them when the goods have already reached the port. This helps to save time in completing the camera import procedures.

V. Labeling of Goods

Labeling imported goods has been a long-standing requirement, but since the issuance of Decree 128/2020/NĐ-CP, it has become more critical with stricter monitoring. For recording cameras, the content of labels must adhere to the following regulations:

  • Information about the exporter (address, company name)

  • Information about the importer (address, company name)

  • Name and detailed data about the goods

  • Specifications about capacity and year of manufacture

  • Country of origin of the goods

These are basic pieces of information that need to appear on the label, and if written in English or other languages, a translation must be provided. During the camera import procedure, if a customs inspection occurs, customs authorities will pay attention to the content of the labels.

1. Regarding the placement of labels on goods:

Labeling goods is not only necessary but also must be done in the correct location. When conducting imports, labels should be affixed to various surfaces of the items, such as cartons, wooden crates, product packaging, or any easily accessible and visible location. This helps to save time in the customs inspection and camera import procedures.

2. Risks of not complying with labeling requirements:

Labeling goods is a legal requirement. If goods are imported without labels or with incorrect label information, importers may face the following risks:

Being fined as per the regulations, with penalties stipulated in Decree 128/2020/NĐ-CP

Not being eligible for the benefits of special preferential import tax rates due to rejected Certificates of Origin

The risk of goods being lost or damaged due to the lack of labels

3. Label content:

In addition to affixing labels, the content of the label is crucial. The requirements for label content are stipulated in Decree 43/2017/NĐ-CP. For recording cameras, the label content must comply with specific regulations.

In light of these risks, we recommend that you label goods fully during the camera import procedure. If you have any questions about labeling regulations, please contact us via the hotline or email provided below the article for detailed advice.

VI. Import Procedure for Cameras

The import procedure for cameras, like many other types of goods, is detailed in Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015, and the adjustments and supplements in Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC dated April 20, 2018. Below is a summary of the important steps for a comprehensive understanding:

Step 1: Declare the customs declaration

After collecting all import and export documents such as contracts, commercial invoices, packing lists, sea bills of lading, certificates of origin, and HS codes for cameras, you need to enter the information into the customs system through the software.

Step 2: Open the customs declaration

Once data entry is complete, the customs system will process and provide a declaration filing result. If the declaration is accepted, you can print the customs declaration and prepare the documents to go to the customs office to open the declaration.

Step 3: Customs clearance of the declaration

After the documents are checked and there are no issues, customs officers will accept the customs declaration, and you can pay the import tax to complete the customs clearance procedure.

Step 4: Warehousing and usage

After completing the customs clearance procedure, the goods can be transferred to storage and used as needed.

These are the four basic steps for customs clearance of imported goods, including the camera import procedure.


VII. Notes When Carrying Out Import Procedures:

During the process of assisting customers in importing cameras, H-Cargo has accumulated valuable experiences that we would like to share for your reference:

  • Goods are only allowed to be customs cleared after fulfilling tax obligations.

  • Used components for cameras are prohibited imports. If there are plans to import them, a license is required, usually under the category of scrap.

  • For items like webcams, Bluetooth cameras, television cameras, etc., which are capable of transmitting data through waves or recording, importation requires a license and compliance with relevant standards.

These experiences help us provide better advice during the camera import procedure for you. If you need further information, please contact us via the hotline or email provided below the article for detailed assistance.

Thông tin liên hệ: Mr. Jim Bui - Sales Supervisor Phone: +84 396 544 537 Email:


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