On 21 December 2021, the General Department of Customs issued new guidance on importing software.
Software is classified as “system software” or “application software”.
“System software” allows the user to operate or control a machine or equipment, and the software is integrated into that machine or equipment.
“Application software” enables data processing equipment (e.g. a desktop computer, laptop, tablet) to perform a specific task or produce a particular outcome at the user’s request. The software is installed in such equipment.
The import of software can be via the internet or an intermediate like a temporary storage medium.
A foreign-invested company cannot import or distribute data storage items like USBs or CDs. This restriction includes joint venture companies.
If the software is imported via the internet, no customs procedure is required. Software does not have an HS Code.
Vietnamese-invested companies can import these without restrictions.
Foreign-invested companies can import the system software together with the machinery and equipment.
a. Calculating customs value of software
If the invoice separates the value of the software and the value of the carrier media, only the value of the carrier media is relevant. The value of the software is not considered.
b. Declaring when importing software
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