How to import from Vietnam in 2020?

Thinking about importing from Vietnam? If you’re from the U.S., you’re far from the only one. Vietnam has become a major trading partner with the United States and is known for importing many types of clothing, shoes, and furniture.

In order to start the process of importing from Vietnam, it’s crucial to cover a few essential bases before you can start receiving freight. Failure to do so could lead to serious fines in terms of non-compliance. Just as well, your products could get stuck at Vietnamese customs and never get close to your warehouse at all.

In this article, we’ll break down how to import from Vietnam and everything you need to know about duties from importing from Vietnam as taxes when importing from Vietnam.

1. Mind the Laws and Regulations for Importing From Vietnam

Vietnam has a bilateral trade agreement with the United States and boasts similar trade agreements with other countries as well. This means that both countries have a commitment to trading products under the proper conditions, ensuring that insufficient or potentially dangerous goods do not enter either country.

Another big part of regulations surrounding Vietnam trade is the matter of duties and tariffs. To get a better idea of what you’ll have to pay in duties from Vietnam, explore Vietnam Customs’ import tax rates page.

Ensure that the imported goods you are getting from Vietnam are in compliance both with Vietnam trade policies and your home country’s laws. Most countries will have a list of acceptable goods, as well as additional trade laws, via their chamber of commerce or customs department. You’ll have to arrange for customs clearance ahead of time as well.

If you’re wondering “Do I need a license importing from Vietnam?” you’re in luck! Vietnam does not require businesses to have import or export licenses. However, foreign investors need to register with the Department of Planning and Investment, which is quite simple.


2. Choose the Right Vitnamese Suppliers

When choosing a Vietnamese supplier, it’s always necessary to travel to Vietnam to inspect the factory, warehouse, and product journey with an expert. This may seem like overkill, but this is the only way to really make sure you don’t get scammed.

Don’t be afraid to look up reviews of each and every supplier you consider. You can also collaborate with your colleagues or network with other businesses that work with Vietnam to get the names of good suppliers for your specific niche.

3. Focus on the Sales Contracts

As with any business agreement between a supplier and an importer, a sales contract is a must-have. A sales contract will make clear in incredible detail the needs of both entities, payments, customs information, communication methods, and more. It’s very important to have a lawyer take care of this for you, and also to involve an interpreter.

Incoterms will facilitate the negotiation, clarifying which part of the contract is responsible for the goods in each step of the transaction.

4. Choose How You Will Transport Internationally

The most common way to import from Vietnam is via ocean freight, mainly because Vietnam is an ocean-facing country, but air freight is also an option.

Be smart about transit times when it comes to importing from Vietnam as well. Is it worth partnering with a supplier there if your home base country where your products will be sold is quite far away? Keep in mind that the further you are from Vietnam, the shipping speed for your products may not be as quick as you desire.