vietnam import export regulations

An In-Depth Look into Import and Export Regulations in Vietnam

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 28 August 2019
  • 4 minute reading time

Since the economic reform, Vietnam has taken massive steps to open up many opportunities of international trade, import export activities and investment. Over the years, the country has also become of member in ASEAN Free Trade Area and WTO. Furthermore, Vietnam has also signed 7 regional and bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other countries including ASEAN Hong Kong FTA and Vietnam European Union FTA.

As more and more investors have set up their import/export and trading company in Vietnam, it is important for all levels in the company to get familiar with the import and export procedures and legislation in the country.

In this article, Cekindo will walk you through the details of the Vietnamese import and export regulations before you start a trading business in Vietnam.

Licensing Procedures for Import and Export in Vietnam

It is not necessary for a trading company in Vietnam to get an import or export license for the company incorporation. Nonetheless, a trading company in Vietnam is obliged to register at the Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) and acquire an investment certificate before they can perform any import or export activities.

All procedures on the investment certificate must be strictly followed for the export or import activities to happen.

Import and Export Restrictions

Under the Trading Law in Vietnam, certain goods are banned from export or import:

  • Goods banned from export: petroleum oil
  • Goods banned from import: tobacco, cigars, newspaper, journals, petroleum oils and aircrafts


There are some goods that require the trading company to get the government’s import and export permits:

  • Goods under export control according to international treaties contracted by Vietnam
  • Goods under export quota implemented by other countries
  • Goods under import control according to the international treaties contracted by Vietnam
  • Industrial explosives, explosive pre-substances, and chemicals


Trading companies must meet the food safety, quarantine, and quality standards and regulations of their goods before clearing customs. Customs declaration is also mandatory for importers and can be done online.

Import and Export Duties in Vietnam

Most exported and imported goods in Vietnam are subject to import and export duties. There are some exceptions though:

  • Goods in transit
  • Goods imported into non-tariff areas in Vietnam from other countries for use in non-tariff areas only
  • Goods exported from non-tariff areas in Vietnam to other countries
  • Goods passed from one non-tariff area to another non-tariff zone


Export duties are imposed mainly on natural resources in Vietnam and can range from 0 to 45% in Vietnam based on the free-on-board (FOB) price.

As for import duties, consumer goods, especially luxury goods, have higher rates of duties; and production’s equipment, machinery, and materials have lower rates or zero rate of duties.

Applicable Import Taxes

Almost every category of imported products is subject to import tax. Applicable import tax rates in Vietnam vary depending on the category of product as well.

Imported goods’ tax rates comprise of preferential tax rates, ordinary tax rates, and special preferential tax rates.

Applicable Export Taxes

Only certain products are subject to export taxes in Vietnam, ranging from 0 to 45%. Export taxes range from 0 to 45 percent and is specified based on the type of item under the Export Tariff. The current VAT for exported products is 0%.

Goods with Tax Exemptions

Certain goods of import and export are exempted from taxes in Vietnam under specific conditions. For more information, please refer to the latest import/export regulation or contact Cekindo’s consultants.

vietnam import export regulations

How Cekindo can Help

Cekindo’s custom support and streamlined operations will ensure a more successful trade for your business.

Whether you want to establish a trading company or secure your import and export licenses in Vietnam, our team of professional consultants and legal specialists are at your disposal.


Get in touch by filling in the form below.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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