A Guide to Vietnam’s Import and Export Restrictions

Posted on by

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Anais Robin

For those interested in the import or exportation of goods from Vietnam, careful due diligence is critical in ensuring that business can be carried out in a seamless fashion. Regulations as well as restrictions can play a significant role in trade, and all those with cross boarder operations should keep close watch on regulatory developments.

The following article provides an overview of current import and export bans that are in force within Vietnam.

Professional Service_CB icons_2015RELATED: Pre-Investment Services from Dezan Shira & Associates
Decree No.187/2013/ND-CP 

Passed on November 20th of 2013, Decree No.187/2013/ND-CP provides the most up to date guidance on import and export restrictions effective in Vietnam. This latest guidance replaces Decree No. 12/2006/ND-CP in detailing provisions for implementation of the Commercial Law regarding:

  • The purchase and sale of international goods, and
  •  The processing and transit activities of goods destined for the Vietnamese market. 

The main objective of this latest guidance is to overhaul existing restrictions to bring Vietnam into line with its obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) – of which Vietnam became a member in 2007. 

In addition to convergence with the WTO, revised restrictions also act to further position Vietnam for success in the face of its increasing integration into global trade via regional and bilateral trade agreements. 

Goods facing restrictions

The following goods are currently prohibited from being purchased and imported or exported from Vietnam.  This list applies to the export and import of commercial and non-commercial goods; export and import of goods at border areas; Governmental and non- Governmental aid goods.

Imports Exports
  • Weapons, ammunition, explosive materials, and military technical equipment
  • Assorted firecrackers, sky lights and the equipment interfering with the road traffic speech measuring instruments
  • Eight categories of second hand consumer goods
  • Types of publications in the category prohibited from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam
  • Postal stamps in the category prohibited from business, exchange, display, and propagation as prescribed by Law on Post
  • Radio equipment, equipment applying radio wave not in line with planning on radio frequency and relevant technical regulations in accordance with Law on radio frequencies
  • Cultural products in the category prohibited from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam or having issued decision on suspension of dissemination and circulation in Vietnam
  • Many categories of vehicles
  • Six categories of second hand materials and transport facilities
  • Chemicals prohibited in Appendix III of the Rotterdam Convention
  • Plant protection agents prohibited from use in Vietnam
  • Scrap and waste, refrigerating equipment using C.F.C
  • Products, raw materials containing asbestos of the group of amphibole
  • Weapons, ammunition, explosive materials, and military technical equipment
  • Cultural products in the category prohibited from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam
  • National relics, antiques and precious objects which belong to State, to political organizations and to socio-political organizations
  • Postal stamps in the category prohibited from business, exchange, display, and propagation as prescribed by Law on Post
  • Types of publications in the category prohibited from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam
  • Round timber and sawn timber produced from domestic natural forests
  • Many categories of precious wild fauna and flora,animal breeds, plant varieties (Decree No. 32/2006/ND-CP) and precious products of aquaculture
  • The cipher products used for protection of State secret information
  • Type 1 toxic chemicals stipulated in the Treaty Prohibiting development, production, storage, use and destruction of Chemical Weapons and Annex No.1 promulgated with the  Decree No.  100/2005/ND-CP
Related Link Icon RELATED: An Overview of Transfer Pricing in Vietnam
Optimizing Cross Boarder Operations

In specific instances, exports and imports of goods, as mentioned in the above list, are subject to the permission of the Prime Minister. In these cases, the Vietnamese Prime Minister can permit the exportation or importation of goods that are widely prohibited from trade by Decree No.187/2013/ND-CP.  

In other situations – concerning the importation of goods for scientific research or humanitarian aid – the Prime Minister won’t be competent and will defer decisions to Ministries and Ministerial-level bodies whom will be able to permit the import or export of prohibited goods.

Further Support from Dezan Shira & Associates

With over 23 years of experience offering specialized foreign direct investment advice throughout Asia and nationwide coverage in Vietnam through our Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi offices, the specialists at Dezan Shira & Associates are well placed to advise foreign investors on how to navigate Vietnam’s evolving restrictions on imports . For more information, please get in touch at vietnam@dezshira.com


Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email vietnam@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.



Investing in Vietnam: Corporate Entities, Governance and VAT

VB_2015_0506_imageIn this issue of Vietnam Briefing Magazine, we provide readers with an understanding of the impact of Vietnam’s new Laws on Enterprises and Investment. We begin by discussing the various forms of corporate entities which foreign investors may establish in Vietnam. We then explain the corporate governance framework under the new Law on Enterprises, before showing you how Vietnam’s VAT invoice system works in practice.

E-Commerce in Vietnam: Trends, Tax Policies & Regulatory Framework

In this issue of Vietnam Briefing Magazine, we provide readers with a complete understanding of Vietnam’s e-commerce industry. We begin by highlighting existing trends in the market, paying special attention to scope for foreign investment. We look at means for online sellers to receive payment in Vietnam, examine the industry’s tax and regulatory framework, and discuss how a foreign retailer can actually establish an online company in Vietnam.

Tax, Accounting, and Audit in Vietnam 2014-2015
The first edition of Tax, Accounting, and Audit in Vietnam, published in 2014, offers a comprehensive overview of the major taxes foreign investors are likely to encounter when establishing or operating a business in Vietnam, as well as other tax-relevant obligations. This concise, detailed, yet pragmatic guide is ideal for CFOs, compliance officers and heads of accounting who need to be able to navigate the complex tax and accounting landscape in Vietnam.

One response to “A Guide to Vietnam’s Import and Export Restrictions”

  1. […] An Overview of Vietnam'' s Import as well as Export Limitations Regulations in addition to constraints can play a significant part in trade, and also all those with cross boarder procedures must keep close watch on regulative growths. The adhering to article gives an overview of existing import and export bans that …Learn more on Vietnam Rundown […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dezan Shira & Associates

Meet the firm behind our content. Dezan Shira & Associates have been servicing foreign investors in China, India and the ASEAN region since 1992. Click here to visit their professional services website and discover how they can help your business succeed in Asia.

News via PR Newswire

Never Miss an Update

Subscribe to gain even better insights into doing business in Vietnam. Subscribing also lets you to take full advantage of all our website features including customizable searches, favorite, wish list and gift functions and access to otherwise restricted content.

Scroll to top