Temporary Allowance of Form E Photocopies for Customs Clearance due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Temporary Allowance of Form E Photocopies for Customs Clearance due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Owing to quarantine control measures imposed by the Chinese government in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), importers of goods originating from China may face difficulties in obtaining the original certificate of origin (Form E) required by the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) for customs clearance. Consequently, the Thai Customs Department issued Customs Notification No.47/2563 to offer short-term relief regarding documentary requirements.

After obtaining the relevant approval from the Thai Customs Department, importers can, from March 3 to May 31, 2020, present a copy of Form E during customs clearance.

Importers must meet the following requirements in order to be allowed to use a photocopied Form E:

 On the import entry form found in the online entry system, one must add the phrase “Request to use a photocopied certificate of origin (Form E) for now and will submit the original Form E later” in Thai ขอใช้สำเนาภาพถ่ายหนังสือรับรองถิ่นกำเนิดสินค้า (Form E) ไปพลางก่อนและจะยื่นต้นฉบับ (Form E ในภายหลัง);

 Importers must meet directly with a Customs officer and must use the online system in order to request such meeting;

 Importers are required to fill the form “Request to use a photocopy of a certificate of origin (Form E) to proceed customs clearance under Customs Notification No. 132/2562 re: rules and regulations for duty exemption and reduction under ACFTA’. This form is attached to the notification, and may be accessed here;

 Within 30 days of the goods being cleared from Customs, importers are required to present the original version of Form E. Should the importer fail to present this form within the specified time frame, preferential duties will cease to apply. A notice of assessment will thereafter be issued by the Thai Customs Department and the importer will be obliged to pay the outstanding duties.

As it is still unclear whether the original Form E can be issued within 30 days and whether the importer would have a right to appeal against the assessment made, importers may consider the various consequences of using this scheme. If the importer has prior knowledge of the fact that the Form E might not be issued within 30 days, the full amount of duties must be paid although the right to claim preferential duties may be reserved. As Form E can be issued retroactively a year after the goods have been exported, the importer can still claim preferential duties when they are able to produce the original Form E.

To request more information on MPG advisory services on Customs and International Trade, please address your request to [email protected].