Moving to Vietnam

Country Guide: Vietnam

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport (identification pages only)
  • Detailed inventory
  • Packing list
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Vietnam Entry Visa (valid at least 3 or more months)
  • Original Vietnam Arrival-Departure Card
  • Letter of Employment
  • Original Work Permit

Specific Information

  • All air shipments are physically inspected by Customs at the air terminal. The average time is approximately 1-2 days.
  • Sea shipments will normally undergo physical Customs inspection. The average time for Customs Clearance is 2-3 days for full container load (FCL) shipments and 3-5 days for less container load (LCL) shipments.
  • Sea or air shipments of diplomatic status are exempt from Customs inspections (Diplomats).
  • All shipments undergo cultural inspections. This process takes approximately 3-4 days. Inspection may include, but is not limited to, books, art works, DVDs, CDs, antiques.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Passport
  • Residency Card
  • Proof of ownership
  • Original Purchase Invoice.

Specific Information

  • Only left-hand drive vehicles can be imported and are subject to substantial government tax and duties.
  • Proof of ownership and original purchase invoice are required.

Note: The import of motor vehicles is a complicated and tedious process. It is recommended that motor vehicles be purchased in Vietnam.


Documents Required

  • Owner’s Passport
  • Vaccination Record
  • Owner’s Entry Visa (valid at least 3+ months)
  • International Health Certificate
  • Import Permit
  • Flight arrival details

Specific Information

  • The Import Permit is required by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
  • Quarantine for pets traveling as cargo is required but is usually a couple of hours.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Duty shall be payable on the following types of liquor at the rate expressed as a percentage of the value of the liquor:
    • Liquor with an alcoholic strength of less than 30% measured at a 20°C: 125-150%
    • Liquor with an alcoholic strength of more than 30% measured at a 20°C: 125-150%
    • Wine (10-20 bottles duty free): 125-150%
  • Duty shall be payable on tobacco at the following rates:

>100 cigars: 150% Prepared tobacco (> 50 grams): 45%

>400 cigarettes: 150% All other manufactured tobacco products: 45%

  • Personal computers are charged import duty at 15%. Personal printers are charged duty at 10%.
  • Non-perishable food items and items in cans and other durable packaging can be imported in small amounts.

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons
  • Ammunitions
  • Explosives
  • Military equipment
  • Radio transmitters
  • Satellite dishes
  • Poisonous chemicals
  • Cultural products
  • Articles of anti-government nature
  • Fireworks
  • Toys and games which affect public moral education and security
  • Pornographic or subversive materials
  • Motorbikes

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

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