Vietnam customs & importation informations

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Please note that the customs clearance procedures can be a lengthy and drawn-out process in Vietnam. For your information, customs clearance on sea freight shipment currently takes 4-6 days from the date of arrival and airfreight within 3 days. To ensure that customs clearance is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible, the following instructions must be adhered to:

  1. The shipper must declare on the Vietnam Arrival – Departure form (the form that the shipper will get & fill out at the immigration Customs at airport) under the “unaccompanied baggage” section that there is an air or sea shipment coming to Vietnam after the client has arrived in order for us to perform customs clearance when his/her air or sea shipment will come later. Essentially, the shipper should state under the unaccompanied baggage section that “1 air shipment coming later” or “1 sea shipment coming later” or if both “1 air shipment coming later and 1 sea shipment coming later”. PLEASE REFER TO ATTACHED SAMPLE.

  1. Customs officers inspect every single items being imported into the country. Therefore, it is imperative that the export packing list is exact and precise. Our OWN staff will open every single box for inspection and re-pack them.

  1. Do not list items as Packed by Owner or mis-declare items. There must be a supporting detailed packing list for all contents.

  1. As a courtesy, all Diplomatic Shipments enjoy no inspection or very limited inspection.

  1. All Air-freight shipments should be crated in wood, lined inside with plastic, and preferably on a pallet(s).

  1. All shipments (with the exception of Diplomatic and Non Government Organizations (N.G.O.s)) will incur import duty based on the value of the contents of the shipment. The actual percentage charged is at the customs officer’s discretion. However, diplomatic/N.G.O.’s shipments may be charged taxes/duties on multiple items, such as 2nd TV or stereo in the shipment. N.G.O.s must be in possession of a written agreement with the Vietnamese Government which permits the tax free importation of household goods. If no valid agreement exists, taxes/duties will be charged on the shipment.

  1. It is recommended that if antiques are shipped to Vietnam, please make sure that all items are clearly photographed and well documented. Antiques will be inspected and registered upon entry for exportation once the client leaves Vietnam for another posting elsewhere.

  1. All pornographic literature, culturally and politically sensitive information, firearms, explosives, satellite dishes, color photocopiers, and some color printers are banned from entering Vietnam.

  1. All electronic items must have the brand name, model, and serial number detailed on the packing list (customs duty usually stand at between 50%-60% for electronic goods). This is very important for Diplomatic and N.G.O.’s shipments in order to obtain tax exemption permit.

  1. Alcohol duty stands at 100-120% and only a small limited amount is allowed for importation, except for diplomatic status shipments. Shippers should consult with their respective embassies/consulates for the allowable quantity.

  1. Motorcycles and automobiles importation have numerous restrictions and very difficult to import. Please contact us for current information on a case to case basis. Diplomatic status shipments can import automobiles duty-free.

  1. Prime Relocations Vietnam will perform the Customs clearance on behalf of the shipper however, the shipper should be present in Vietnam at the time of customs clearance with his/her original passport as the clearance cannot be completed in his/her absence (without his/her signature on import documents).

  1. Do not ship commercial and private shipments together. This will cause great delay at the time of customs inspection.

  1. All shipments’ documentation must be consigned to the client/ the shipper and not Prime Relocations. Prime Relocations/Ho Chi Minh branch/Da Nang branch is the notify party only.

  1. Fax/email OBL/AWB and packing list before the shipment’s arrival to Vietnam. In addition, we must receive all copies of documents at least one week prior to the shipment’s arrival date in Vietnam. Courier all original documents to us. Do not post as this takes a minimum of three weeks and is often unreliable.

  1. If shipment is telex release, fax/email copy of OBL and telex release confirmation, and as well as relevant shipment details.

  1. Please ensure that up to date copies of pet vaccination certificates and health cards are courier to this office prior to the pet’s flight arrival in Vietnam.

  1. For further information, clarification, or assistance, please kindly contact us. We are 7 hours ahead of GMT and work a Six-day week Monday to Saturday.

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