A Guide to Vietnam’s Import and Export Restrictions

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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.

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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
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Optimizing Cross Border 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

 


About Us

Vietnam Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Readers may write to vietnam@dezshira.com for more support on doing business in Vietnam.

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