Importing and Exporting Goods - Full Documentation
 
 
RETURN TO HOMEPAGE


About Customs


Import and Export


International Programs


Laws and Regulations


Regional Offices


Traveler Guidelines
   
   
   

 
 

Part I : Documentation
- Cargo Control Document
- Invoice
- Declaration Form
- Certificate of Origin


You will be able to obtain release of your goods upon presentation of a fully completed declaration package consisting of the following:

1. 3 copies of the cargo control document
2. 2 copies of the invoice
3. 2 carrier advice notes
4. 2 copies of any permit issued by a relevant Ministry or Department
5. 2 certificates of origin showing origin of goods
6. 3 sets of the declaration form


Cargo Control Document

A cargo control document in the form of an airway bill for goods arriving by air or a manifest for goods arriving by highway or river will be sent to you together with an advice note issued by the carrier to inform you that a shipment has arrived and is awaiting customs clearance.

You will need the cargo control number from the airway bill or manifest to complete the appropriate field on the declaration form.

Three copies of the cargo control document and two copies of the advice note must accompany the declaration form.

Invoice
For all shipments entering or leaving Lao PDR, a commercial invoice which indicates the buyer and seller of the goods, the price paid or price payable, and an adequate description of the goods including quantity of the goods contained in the shipment, should be produced to support the declaration. The invoice must be prepared by the exporter. Locally produced invoices are not acceptable. Click here to download an invoice sample


Declaration Form

Certificate of origin


Part II :Classification of Goods
- Harmonized System

General Information on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding (HS) Based Tariff

The H.S. based tariff is logically structured and divided into twenty-one sections. For the most part, commodities are arranged in these sections according to the decree of manufacture or processing.

Within the twenty-one sections there are 99 chapters. Chapter 77 is reserved for possible future expansion. The last chapter, 99 is set aside for special use by individual countries.

Chapters are arranged according to levels of processing, with primary commodities classified in the earlier chapters and technically more complex products treated later on.

Each chapter begins with a title page. Section and chapter legal notes precede certain chapters and sections. However, these notes only define the scope and limits of the chapter and sections they precede. Following the chapter notes, you will find the classification numbers of all products covered by the chapter.

Structure of the Classification Number

Classification in the HS is a systematic process. To use this process, it is essential to understand the structure of the classification number.

With the entry of Lao PDR in ASEAN, the classification number consists of eight digits. This eight-digit number is sub-divided at various levels to provide greater details and definitions for a product than the previous level at the six digits.

Each level is identified as follows:

01.01 HEADING
01.01.20 1st SUB-HEADING
01.01.20.00 2sd Sub-Heading

International Lao and ASEAN
Requirement Requirement

The first six digits represent the international portion of the classification number and are the numbers that will be used by all countries acceding to the Harmonized System. The last two digits reflect the Lao and ASEAN requirements for tariff and statistical purposes.

The structure of the classification number, i.e., the breakdown of the number by heading, and sub-headings is the basis for classifying your product in the H.S. Once a product has been located in a heading, an appropriate eight-digit number of sub-headings within the selected heading must be determined.


Part III : Value for Duty
- Transaction Value Method
- Other Methods of Valuing Imports
- Importer's Responsibility
- Importer's Rights


The Lao PDR system of valuing imported goods is known as the transaction value system. It is based on an internationally approved set of rules, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The system is now used by most trading nations and provides for a fair and uniform means of valuing goods for customs duty.

The transaction value system stipulates that the transaction value method must be used whenever possible. This value method bases the customs value on the price paid by the importer to the exporter for the imported goods. If the transaction value method cannot be used, one of the other five methods must be used, in the sequence presented. These other methods are known as

- Transaction value of identical goods
- Transaction value of similar goods
- Deductive value
- Computed value
- Flexible value

Transaction value method

1. The transaction value method will be used for valuation of most imported goods, except in situations where there is a relationship between the importer and exporter that may influence the value, or where the imported goods are rented or leased, or are sent on consignment, or where the exporter imposes certain conditions such as restricting the trading level or the area of resale, or barter trade.

2. When using the transaction value method, the following costs must be included in the customs value:
- Transportation costs to Lao PDR
- Insurance costs
- Packing, packaging and special handling costs
- Fees paid to the exporters for royalties, licenses, etc.
- Storage charges in the country of export that are paid by the importer
- All escalation costs charged after the goods are ordered
- All selling costs such as commissions, etc that are charged to the importer
- Assists are goods or services supplied by the importer to the exporter free or at a reduced cost that were used in the production of the goods.

3. Costs which may be deducted from the customs value are:
- Discounts for volume purchases, payment for the goods in advance or within an agreed period (such discount must be shown on the invoice and granted before importation)
- If goods were sold by the exporter on a duty and tax paid basis, deduct the amount paid for duties and taxes
- Amount paid to the exporter for work that will be performed in Lao PDR, such as construction, erection, assembly, maintenance or technical assistance related to the imported goods (such costs must be shown separately on the invoice or in a contract)

Other methods of valuing imports

The five other methods of valuation are more complex and the necessary information may not be readily available. The following is therefore only for the importer's information and, if it is necessary to apply these methods the importer may wish to consult with a customs officer to determine the value for duty.

Identical or similar goods method

Under these methods the value for duty is based on the customs value of other identical or similar goods which have been previously exported to Lao PDR, at or about the same time as the goods being imported. The customs value can be adjusted to allow for differences in the trade level of purchases and in the cost of transportation. It is unlikely that the importer will be able to use these methods, as it requires information on values declared to customs for imports of identical or similar goods. Values for duty under these methods is therefore usually calculated in conjunction with the assistance of a customs officer.

Deductive value method

Under the deductive value method, the value for duty is based on the most common selling price of goods imported into Lao PDR. From this resale price is deducted an amount which represents the average profit and general expenses involved in selling the goods in the Lao PDR. Included in the general expenses involved in the expenses will be items such as Lao PDR duties and taxes, all transportation, warehousing, selling and distribution costs, also any packaging or further processing costs in Lao PDR, should also be deducted in calculating the value for duty.

The purpose behind this method is to determine what the cost of the goods would have been had they been purchased, in the same condition as when imported, from an unrelated exporter. This method would only be used in situations such as goods being imported on consignment or barter trade.

Computed value method

The computed value method is the cost of production of the imported goods, plus an amount for normal profit and general expenses experienced by the exporter, when selling the same type of goods to importers in Lao PDR.

As most exporters are reluctant to release this information, the use of this valuation method will generally be limited to those importers who are related to the exporter and where the exporter is the manufacturer of the goods being appraised.

Flexible method

If the other methods of valuation can not be used, the flexible method must be applied. This method does not provide specific rules, but stipulates that the rules of one of the other five methods is applied in a flexible manner and that the information used is available in the Lao PDR.

Importer's Responsibility

The importer of commercial goods into Lao PDR is responsible for the self-assessment of the duty and tax liabilities on all goods imported. This means that the importer or his authorized agent must prepare all necessary documents for presentation to customs.

Customs' Responsibility

Customs is responsible to ensure that all legislation governing the importation and exportation of goods into and out of the Lao PDR have been fully complied with. Customs is also responsible to insure that all applicable duties and taxes have been paid. Customs will also review customs declarations after release of the goods and may issue notices for payment of additional, duties and tax as a result of the review, or reassessment of value or redetermination of tariff.

Importer's Rights

An importer has the right to request customs to reconsider any reassessment of value and any redetermination of tariff classification. Further, the importer has the right to appeal the customs reassessment notice to higher authorities.


Part IV : Coding Instructions

Annex
I List of Customs Offices and Codes
II List of Country and Currency Codes
III List of Regional Customs Offices and Addresses

The Declaration Form

The declaration form or single administrative document is used for all customs transactions; import, export or transit. It must be complete to be acceptable in customs.

Click here to view a sample form

The declaration form has three segments.

1. In the first section(Boxes No.1-23) enter general information on importer, exporter and declarant as well as transport and transaction details.

2. In the second section (Boxes No.24-42) enter details on the item declared, including amount of duties and taxes payable or exempted.

3. Summary of Payment and Responsibility of Declaration Section.

It is presented in the form of (i.) a header sheet, which is used to declare importation, exportation or in transit information for each commodity item (ii.) continuation sheets to declare other commodity items and (iii.) section sheet for official use.
Note. Declaration forms are on sale at all Regional Customs offices.
Instructions to fill each box of the form.

Box No.1 Declaration Regime

Inscribe one of the following codes to identify the type of transaction the declaration is for:

Regime Code Description
10 Exportation of domestic Goods
14 Exportation under a drawback regime
20 Temporary Exportation
35 Re-Exportation
40 Importation of goods for Home consumption.
4A Importation of goods for diplomatic use, returning residents, and humanitarian assistance; samples, educational materials and certain religious articles.
4B Goods ex-warehoused to duty free shops
4C Goods ex-warehoused for exportation out of Lao PDR
45 Home Consumption of Goods after temporary admission
47 Home Consumption of Goods entered under a warehousing regime
50 Temporary Importation
62 Re-Importation of Goods Exported temporarily
70 Warehousing of Goods
80 Transit

Office Codes.

Enter the code of the office where the declaration is presented. See Annex I for a list of all customs offices and their codes.

Manifest /Airway bill number.

Enter the cargo control number from the air waybill if the goods arrive or leave by air or from the manifest if goods arrive or leave by any other mode of transport.
Declaration Number and Date.

Customs will assign the declaration number and the date when the declaration is presented and registered with customs.

Box No.2 Exporter and Address

If you enter goods for exportation, indicate your name and address as well as the taxpayer identification number (TIN) issued by the Tax Department. If you have not yet been issued a TIN please obtain a number from the nearest tax office and use it on all subsequent customs declarations. Also include your office telephone number. For diplomatic and personal exportations, leave the number field blank.

Box No.3 Gross Mass Kg.

Indicate the gross weight in kilograms of the entire consignment of goods as declared on the manifest or air waybill.

Box No.4 Items

Indicate the total number of items as shown on the invoice.

Box No.5 Total Packages.

Indicate the total number of packages as declared on the manifest or airway bill. In case of bulk cargo, indicate BULK only.

Box No. 6 Importer and Address

If you enter goods for importation, indicate your name and address as well as the taxpayer identification number (TIN) issued by the Tax Department. If you have not been issued a TIN please obtain a number from the nearest tax office and use it on all subsequent customs declarations. Also include your office telephone number. For diplomatic and personal importations, leave the number field blank.

Box No.7 Consignee.

If you are importing goods on behalf of another person, or the other party holds title to the good at time of importation indicate the name and address of the consignee as well as the TIN issued by the Tax Department. Please contact the nearest tax office for a number and use on all subsequent declarations, or obtain the TIN number from the consignee if one has been issued to the consignee by the tax department. For diplomatic importations, leave the number field blank.

Box No.8 Declarant.

If you are a licensed agent authorized to transact business in customs, enter the TIN issued by the Tax Department. If you do not have a TIN, contact the nearest tax office.

Box No.9 Country of Consignment/Destination.

For importation, indicate the country and the code from where the goods have been consigned.
For exportation, indicate the country and the code to where the goods are exported or re-exported.

See Annex II: List of Country and Currency Codes.

Box No.10 Type of License.

Indicate the type of trade or industry license held by you.

Box. No.11 Delivery Terms.

Indicate the terms of delivery of goods either CIF for importation, or FOB for exportation.

Box No.12 Total Invoice in Foreign Currency.

For importation, indicate the total amount of the invoice in foreign currency. See list of Country and Currency Codes in Annex II.

Box No.13 Total Invoice in Local Currency.

Enter here the total value of the invoice in Kip by converting the value declared in box No. 12 with the rate of exchange indicated in box No.16. If there is only one item, this value should correspond to the value declared in box no.38. If there are many items, the total value should correspond to the total of values declared in all the boxes no.38 on the Continuation sheets.


Box No.14 Total FOB (Exports)

Indicate the FOB value of the goods in foreign currency.
(if known)
Box No. 14 Total FOB (Imports)

Enter the FOB value in foreign currency. (if known)

Box No.15 Total FOB Ncy (Import/Export)

For import, leave blank.
For export, indicate the FOB value of the goods in Kip.

Box No.16 Rate of Exchange.

Indicate the rate of exchange of the foreign currency to the Kip and the code of the foreign currency. (The exchange rate shall be that which is in force at time of importation, unless otherwise advised).

Box No.17 Mode of Transport.

Indicate the mode of transport, the voyage number. Also the country code of the nationality of the aircraft, truck or ship.
(if known)

The codes for mode of transport are:

SEA 1
RAIL 2
ROAD 3
AIR 4

Box No.18 Port of Loading/Unloading.

For imports indicate the name and the code of the foreign country where goods are loaded,
For exports, indicate the name and the code of the foreign country where goods are destined.

See Annex II for a list of Country Codes.

Box No.19 Place of Shipping/ Landing.

For imports, indicate the place in Lao PDR where goods have arrived. At export, or re-export, indicate the place in Lao PDR from where the goods are exported or re-exported.

Box No.20 Entry/Exit Office.

Indicate the code of the Lao customs office where the declaration is presented for clearance.

In a transit operation, indicate the code of the customs office where the transit operation commences. Also indicate the code of the exit customs office where the transit operations is to be terminated.

Box No.21 Identification Warehouse (Leave blank until bonded warehouses are established)

Indicate the code of the bonded warehouse where goods are to be warehoused or ex-warehoused.

Box No.22 Financial and Banking Data.

Indicate the terms of payment of the transaction, as well as the name of the bank and the branch where payment for the commercial transaction is made.

Box No.23 Attached Documents.

Indicate the codes of attached documents, which support your declaration. (Documents must be originals or certified as true copies).

1234567891011 InvoiceManifestAirway billPacking ListCertificate of Origin (If required)Phytosanitary Certificate (If required)Import Permit from Ministry of Trade (If required)Import permit from Ministry of Agriculture (If required)Import Permit from Ministry of Heath (If required) Authorization from Department of Transport (If required)If claiming duty and tax exemptions, documents authorizing such exemptions must be presented with the declaration.


Box No.24 Marks, Numbers and Description of Goods

Indicate the marks and numbers of the packages as shown on the manifest or airway bill.

If goods arrive or leave by containers, indicate the container number as shown on the manifest.

The total number of packages should correspond to the total number of packages indicated in box No.5.

Give a detailed description of the goods. Avoid, as far as possible, trade names. Except in the case of vehicles and electronic devices, provide make and model.

Box No.25 No. of Items.

Indicate the number of items on the invoice.

Box No.26 Tariff Code

Indicate the classification code of the commodity imported. This classification code in based on the AHTN and must be eight digits.

Box No.27 Customs Procedure Codes.
(Leave blank at this time)

Box No.28 Country of Origin/Destination

For imports, indicate the code of the country of origin of the goods imported, if the country of origin of the goods is different from the country where the goods have been consigned.

Box No.29 Zone.
It the goods originate from ASEAN member countries and are supported by a certificate of origin enter ASEAN. For other countries enter GEN. At export enter XPT.

Box No.30 Valuation Code

Indicate the code of the valuation method used to determine the customs value for duty.

There are six valuation methods and coded as follows:

Valuation Method Code
Transaction Method 1
Identical Goods Method 2
Similar Goods Method 3
Deductive Method 4
Computed Method 5
Flexible Method 6

Note: The transaction valuation method must be used as the primary method for valuation if possible.

Box No.31 Gross Mass.

Enter the gross weight in kilograms for the item on the first page only. The total weight of all items on the continuation sheets in the declaration should be equal to the weight declared in box no.3 of the general segment.

Box No.32 Net Mass.

Enter the net weight of the goods in kilograms for each item declared. If a continuation sheet is used a net mass must be inscribed for each item.

Box No.33 FOB Foreign Currency.

Enter the FOB value of the item in foreign currency (if known).

Box No.34 FOB Local Currency, only if transport and insurance are not prepaid by exporter. If prepaid, enter the value that includes transportation and insurance.

Enter the FOB value of the item in Kips, only if transport and insurance are not prepaid by exporter. If prepaid, enter the value that includes transportation and insurance.

Box No. 35 Freight.

Enter the amount of freight paid or payable for the item in Kip. For a shipment of various items, the freight charges are apportioned according to freight paid or payable and by weight. If freight is prepaid by exporter and included in the value, mark the box "Prepaid".

Box No.36 Insurance.

Enter the amount of insurance in Kip for the item.

For a shipment of various items, the insurance paid or payable is to be apportioned.

If the insurance is prepaid by the exporter and included in the value, mark the box "prepaid"

Box No.37 Other Costs.
Enter other costs and expenses incurred for the import of goods and paid to the exporter for the imported goods.

Box No.38 Customs Value in Local Currency.

Enter the customs value for the item, which is the total of values of boxes 33, 34, 35 and 36.

Box No. 39 Supplementary Unit/Quantity.

Some of the most common international units of quantity are as follows:

Unit Code
Cubic Metre MTQ
Gigawatt-hour GWH
Hundred CEN
Kilogram KGM
Litre LTR
Metre MTR
Number NMB
Number of packs NMP
Square Metre MTK
Ten TEN
Ten Pairs TPR
Thousand MIL
Tonne TNE

Enter any of the code, which describes the unit quantity of goods imported/exported. If the units of imports or exports are not included in this list, consult a customs officer for more detailed lists.

Box No.40 Duty Payable.

Enter the amount of duties and taxes payable for the item declared per category of duty, tax and excise.

Enter also the taxable base for each category of duty, tax and excise. Duty rate is calculated on the Customs value. The tax is calculated on the customs value plus the duty payable. The excise tax is calculated on the customs value plus duty payable plus tax payable.

For other items of the declaration, on the continuation sheets enter the duty, tax and excise payable.

Box No.41 Permit Numbers.

Enter permit number and date of issue for the shipment, if required.

Box No.42 Previous Declaration.

If the declaration refers to a previous declaration, the registration number and date of the previous declaration is entered here.

Present a copy of the previous declaration with the declaration you have just prepared.

Responsibility of Declaration

You must enter your full name, indicate the capacity in which you are acting. And sign the declaration.

You must also indicate the mode of payment by which duty and taxes are to be paid.

After you have completed your declaration, you can now lodge it at the designated customs office where your goods are held.

After customs review and approval of the declaration, please make the payment of all applicable duties and taxes, and present a copy of the payment receipt to the customs office where the declaration was presented.

On receipt of the customs release note, present the release note to the warehouse keeper for delivery of the imported goods and sign for receipt of the goods or have the carrier sign for receipt.


Annex

I    List of Customs Offices and Codes

II   List of Country and Currency Codes

III  List of Regional Customs Offices and Addresses

IV  The Customs Declaration Form