Your Simple Guide to Customs Procedures for Vietnam Import & Export

When setting up an import export company it is important to understand all the regulations including customs clearance procedures and more

With an annual GDP growth of more than 6% for almost 20 years, although it slowed down to 4.8% in 2021 in light of the pandemic, Vietnam is ranked as the fastest-growing economy across the globe, especially in Asia. With a more open economy, more foreign investors have come to set up their companies to engage in import & export business in Vietnam. Furthermore, Vietnam is projected to become one of the world’s 10 top emerging logistics markets in the world*.

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Setting up a logistics company in Vietnam is actually not too difficult. The great challenge comes when you need to navigate and have a deep understanding of Vietnamese customs procedures. It may be daunting for many foreigners, especially when they are eager to jumpstart their import/export business venture in Vietnam right away.

This article provides a guide that includes customs procedures and regulations you need to know.

Customs Regulations in Vietnam

Leveraging on the low manufacturing costs in Vietnam, many foreign businesses find trading to be a lucrative business in the country. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with the export and import regulations in Vietnam is one of the most critical parts of doing business in Vietnam.

Exported and imported goods in Vietnam are subject to several standards for customs clearance including inspection, quality check, specifications compliance, quantity and volume verification, among others. These standards are enforced under the Vietnamese Customs Law 54/2014/QH13, which is supplemented by other guiding circulars and stipulated decrees.

Required Documents for Customs Procedures in Vietnam

Required documents for import or export goods must be submitted for customs clearance by the trading company to the customs authorities. The set of documents must include the business registration certificate (BRC or ERC) of the company and business code registration certificate of the imports or exports.

Import Regulations

For imports, you can register your business and customs declaration at the National Business Registration Portal of Vietnam website and the Vietnam National Single Portal website respectively.

Some other documents that may be requested by the authorities depending on the type of imported goods:

  • Declaration form
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Import permit of restricted goods
  • Commercial invoice
  • Report of inspection
  • Cargo release order
  • Delivery order
  • Packing list
  • Health and technical certificate
  • Terminal handling receipts

Export Regulations

  • Electronic Declaration form (E-Form HQ/2015/XK)
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Permit of export
  • Contract/agreement
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Health and technical certificate
  • Terminal handling receipts

RELATED: Business Opportunities in E-commerce Logistics in Vietnam

Import and Export Process Time

For export, the shipment procedures are usually done within the same day. However, for import, the shipment procedures are completed within 1 to 3 days, depending on the container loads. Full Container Load (FCL) often takes one day and Less Than Container Load (LCL) often takes 3 days.

Priority Customs Treatment in Vietnam

Companies can apply for priority customs treatment for the purpose of reducing customs compliance costs. With the priority customs treatment, qualified companies are entitled to several benefits that can significantly cut down customs compliance costs and clearance times.

Benefits of Priority Customs Treatment

If your company is qualified for the priority customs treatment, you will be able to enjoy the following benefits pertaining to customs compliance and costs:

  • Goods are exempted from physical inspection
  • Goods are exempted from the examination of the supplementary documents
  • Able to submit incomplete customs declarations. Complete customs declarations are required to be done in 30 days
  • Priority access for tax procedures

Run An Import and Export Business Hassle-free and Seamlessly with Cekindo

vietnam import export with cekindo

It is best to consult with a professional agency that has comprehensive knowledge and experience in the field of import-export in Vietnam.

Consisting of experienced consultants, field agents, and legal specialists, Cekindo can help. You will have peace of mind as you do not need to deal with complex customs procedures and frequent changes yourself.

Our services that are related to your export and import needs include:

  • Consultancy for product quality specification
  • Local representative for complete product registration application
  • Safety licenses application
  • Certificate extension filing
  • Documents translation
  • Tax reporting
  • Documents notarization

*source: CBIP Logistics

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Verified by:​

Thanh (Tim) Ta

Tim Ta is the Head of the Business Consulting Department of Incorp Vietnam. He is a seasoned professional with more than 6 years of consulting experience in Vietnam for market entry, incorporation, and real estate investment.