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Following the relevant customs procedures when importing or exporting goods from Vietnam is one of the most vital aspects of doing business in a country where manufacturing costs are leveraged to its favor.
Goods to be imported or exported are subject to the relevant customs clearance standards, which effectively check the quality, specifications, quantity, and volume of the goods. Currently, these standards are set out under Law No. 54/2014/QH13 on Customs as well as numerous implementing decrees and guiding circulars.
Following the standards set by the Vietnamese government, certain imported goods are subject to inspection. For example, imported pharmaceuticals must undergo testing and also include documents detailing product use, dosage, and expiration dates (written in Vietnamese), which must also be included in or on the product packaging.
Companies that import or export goods must submit a dossier of documents to the customs authorities. The dossier must include at least the company’s business registration certificate and import/export business code registration certificate.
If importing, it’s best to register your business on the National Business Registration Portal website and register customs declaration on the Vietnam National Single Window Portal.
The following are additional documents that may be requested by authorities depending on the imports in question:
Imported goods require the following documents:
Exported goods need the following:
Export shipment procedures are typically completed on the same day. Import shipments typically take around one to three days to complete for full container loads (FCL) and less than container loads (LCL), respectively.
According to Vietnamese Customs, companies that regularly export and import the same exact goods within a given period may use a single customs declaration form for carrying out the relevant customs procedures if the goods are listed under the same purchase and sales contract and are delivered within the delivery time listed on the purchase contract.
For those seeking to reduce customs compliance costs in Vietnam, it is possible to apply for priority treatment. Under priority treatment, qualifying companies will become eligible for a range of benefits that are sure to reduce customs clearance times and thus reduce costs.
Companies that meet the following standards, outlined under Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP, will become eligible for preferential customs treatment:
According to the Law on Customs, companies qualifying for the priority treatment program will be eligible to benefit from the following:
Vietnamese customs procedures are complex and often subject to change. For up-to-date information on clearance regulations, processing times, or applying for the priority program, it is best to consult with government officials or professional service firms.

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