Vietnam’s Natural Resource Tax 2023

Posted by Written by Dezan Shira and Associates Reading Time: 4 minutes

Vietnam’s mining industry is receiving a huge amount of interest from foreign miners on reports that the country possesses the third-highest reserves of rare earths. Companies engaged in the extraction of natural resources in Vietnam are subject to tax obligations on these resources, which are detailed below.

Rare earth mining in Vietnam was at the top of the agenda when the President of the United States was in Vietnam back in September. Keen to reduce its dependence on China for these unique metals, the US has been looking for alternative suppliers, and with what is estimated to be the third-largest rare earth reserve in the world, Vietnam has emerged as one possible option.

These resources, however, are limited. And, as with most countries around the world, recognizing the finite nature of these resources, the Vietnamese government has developed a set of natural resource taxes. These are largely dependent on the type of resource to be extracted and are sometimes used as an incentive to develop particular areas of resource extraction. For example, oil and gas, and coal projects often receive discounted tax rates to encourage development in these sectors (See table below).

These taxes are outlined in Resolution No. 084/2015/UBTVQH13.

See also: Vietnam’s Rare Earth Mining Industry: An Overview

Who pays Vietnam’s natural resources tax?

Industries are liable for national resource tax (NRT) if they are using or developing Vietnam’s natural resources, such as metallic and non-metallic minerals, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum minerals, forest products (except for animals), aquatic products, natural water, and swallow’s nests.

Details of the specific payees are as follow:

  • For enterprises that are a part of a joint venture basis, the joint venture enterprise will pay the tax;
  • For foreign and Vietnamese parties joined by a business cooperation contract to exploit natural resources, the contract should specify the entity responsible for paying the tax; and
  • For small-sized organizations and individuals exploiting and selling natural resources to other organizations and individuals that commit to declare and pay the NRT on behalf of the natural resource exploiter, the purchaser will pay the tax.

Natural resources tax rates

Tax rates vary depending on the natural resources being exploited and are applied to the production output at a specified taxable value per unit. Various methods are available for the calculation of the taxable value of the resources, including cases where the commercial value of the resources cannot be determined.

General tax rates

Type of natural resources Tax rates (%)
Metallic minerals  
Iron 14
Manganese 14
Titan 18
Gold 17
Rare earth 18
Platinum 12
Wolfram and antimony 20
Lead and zinc 15
Aluminum and bauxite 12
Copper 15
Nickel 10
Cobalt, molybdenum, mercury, magnesium, and vanadium 15
Other metallic minerals 15
Non-metallic minerals  
Soil exploited for ground leveling and work construction 40
Rock and gravel 30
Rock used for lime baking and cement production 35
White marble 30
Sand 20
Sand used for making glass 15
Soil used for making bricks 15
Granite 15
Refractory clay 13
Dolomite and quartzite 15
Kaolin 13
Mica and technical quartz 13
Pyrite and phosphorite 10
Apatite 8
Serpentine 6
Pit anthracite coal 10
Open-cast anthracite coal 12
Lignite and fat coal 12
Other coals 10
Diamond, ruby, and sapphire 27
Emerald, Alexandrite, and precious black opal 25
Adrite, rhodolite, pyrope, berine, spinel, and topaz 18
Bluish purple, greenish-yellow, and orange

crystalline quartz; chrysolite, precious white and

scarlet opal; feldspar; birusa; and nephrite  
Other non-metallic minerals 10
Natural forest products  
Timber of Group I 35
Timber of Group II 30
Timber of groups III and IV 20
Timber of groups V, VI, VII, VII, and of other groups 18
Tree branches, top, stumps, and roots 10
Firewood 5
Bamboo of all kinds 10
Sandalwood and calambac 25
Anise, cinnamon, cardamom and licorice 10
Other natural forest products 5
Natural aquatic resources  
Pearl, abalone, and sea cucumber 10
Other natural aquatic resources 2
Natural mineral water, natural thermal water, and refined natural water, bottled or canned 10
Natural water used for hydropower generation Natural water used for production and business 5
Surface water  
Production of clean water 1
Other purposes 3
Production of clean water 5
Other purposes 8
Natural swallow’s nests 20
Other resources 10

Natural Gas, Coal, and Crude Oil

Volume Standard Incentivized
Crude oil    
Up to 20,000 barrels per day 10 7
Above 20,000 barrels to 50,000 barrels per day 12 9
Above 50,000 barrels to 75,000 barrels per day 14 11
Above 75,000 barrels to 100,000 barrels per day 19 13
Above 100,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels per day 24 18
Above 150,000 barrels per day 29 23
Natural gas and coal gas    
Up to 5 million m3 / day 2 1
Over 5 million m 3 to 10 million m 3 /day 5 3
Over 10 million m 3 /day 10 6

Resource extraction for foreign firms

Stay ahead of the game in the fast-paced tax environment with our experienced team of professionals providing comprehensive tax services across all major industries.⟶

Foreign investment in resource extraction in Vietnam is permitted and there are a number of foreign firms already operating in several different sectors. That said, getting started for new market entrants can be daunting. Natural resource extraction involves a number of government departments and a lot of red tape. From environmental impact reports to site clearance, to local approvals, and taxes, there are a myriad of hurdles foreign firms may need to jump. With this in mind, foreign firms that need support accessing Vietnam’s natural resources industries should contact the local, boots-on-the-ground business advisory experts at Dezan Shira and Associates.

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